It’s a strong selection of children’s licenses that make up this year’s DreamToys Top 12 Toys for Christmas selection, not only a line-up that underlines a shift towards ‘slow play’ over the course of 2020, but a further lean into the brands and entertainment franchises that parents and families have taken comfort in throughout a rocky past 10 months.
PAW Patrol, Star Wars, Peppa Pig, and Super Mario have all managed to find their place on the big dozen products selected by the DreamToys committee this year, further cementing the intrinsic relationship between the toy and licensing communities and the brands that have powered an industry through a pandemic.
On top of this, it is the ‘slower play’ toys that have come out on top this year, with brands like LEGO, Barbie and Monopoly featuring in a list that has in previous years been dominated by the surge in demand for collectables. Lockdown restrictions and access to shops has fueled a shift in consumer mindset over the course of the coronavirus crisis, with parents making more considered purchases over the ‘fast sell’ pocket money pick ups.
While the list has been revealed to inject some festive spirit into a year mired by lockdowns, social restrictions and economic woes, the coronavirus situation remains present even still. The DreamToys committee has, alongside its listing, released a call to action from the UK’s shoppers to get their Christmas shopping done early, avoid the usual final weeks Christmas dash, and avoid disappointment on missing out on products in short supply.
“We implore consumers not to leave their Christmas shopping to the final few weeks of the year,” explained Gary Grant, chair of the DreamToys selection committee. “Due to Covid-19 restrictions across the country, retailers will simply not be able to service as many people in store due to social distancing.
“In addition, couriers are already overloaded and will struggle to meet the demand to get presents to people before Christmas. Added to this is the limited availability of stock compared to previous years; our advice is to shop early to avoid missing out.”
The DreamToys list is selected by a panel of retailers and industry experts, the list is independent of toy manufacturers and makers.
This year’s Top 12 list is dominated by the big classic toy brands and licenses that have entertained children for generations such as Barbie, Monopoly, Harry Potter, LEGO and Star Wars as well as the massively popular Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Pokémon and L.O.L Surprise.
The complete Top 12 list is:
5 Surprise Mini Brands Mystery Capsule – Zuru – £6.99
Barbie 3-in-1 DreamCamper – Mattel – £79.99
Harry Potter Hedwig – LEGO – £34.99
LOL Surprise OMG Remix Fashion Doll Asst – MGA Entertainment – £39.99
Laser Battle Hunters Vehicle – Character Options – £59.99
Monopoly For Sore Losers – Hasbro – £22.99
PAW Patrol Dino Rescue Dino Patroller – Spin Master – £64.99
Peppa Pig Peppa’s Shopping Centre – Character Options – £39.99
Pokemon Carry Case Play-Set – Character Options – £39.99
Present Pets Asst – Spin Master – £54.99
Star Wars The Mandalorian The Child “Baby Yoda” – Mattel – £29.99
Super Mario Adventures with Mario Startercourse – LEGO – £49.99
Toys and play has been highlighted as a major form of entertainment for children and families throughout the UK’s period of lockdown, as statistics from the NPD show that toy sales have increased by six per cent on the first nine months of 2020, while Games and Puzzles saw a surge of 32 per cent.
A survey conducted by the Toy Retailers Association of 2,000 parents showed 56 per cent of parents have spent more time playing with their children since lockdown, while 88 per cent felt that toys had helped them bond more closely with their children.
Frederique Tutt, vice president, global industry expert, toys, The NPD Group, said: “Toys and games have proved their value in 2020. As in other markets, Britons turned to toys and games to help fill the long weeks of lockdown.
“For the period of lockdown alone, sales rose by 15 per cent. However, unit sales are down nine per cent for the first nine months of the year. As consumers have not been able to visit stores, sales of lower price point collectables have decreased in favour of ‘slow’ play toys such as those in this year’s DreamToys list.”
Grant added: “This year’s DreamToys Top 12 includes a range of products from classic brands such as Monopoly and Barbie, to popular licenses and innovative new toys to suit all price points. Toys have been an important part of families’ lives during lockdown and we believe many on this list will put a well-deserved smile on faces this Christmas.”
To see the Top 12 in more detail, and the full longlist of DreamToys, consumers can head to the DreamToys Facebook page (www.facebook.com/dreamtoysUK).