The famous London toy sellers Hamleys have revealed their list of the 10 top Christmas toys for 2013 in the UK – and the focus is definitely on electronic pets. So if you want to know what your kids will be clamouring for this year, read on!
(Links within the text lead to our reviews, most with video.)
1. Furby Boom (Hasbro)
The 2013 Furby Boom is the second of a new generation of Furbies. Improving on last year’s hit toy, this year’s release does even more. You can interact with it through your tablet or smartphone and you can even have it lay digital eggs and raise virtual babies.
They have new patterned fur designs so they look different too. Sure to be a huge hit this Christmas!
2. Robo Fish (Zuru)
Unlike real goldfish, your Robo Fish won’t be found dead one morning, belly-up in the bowl and covered in fungus! If your children have ever owned real goldfish you’ll find that a huge blessing.
They don’t need feeding either – at least, not with real food – and the tank never needs to be cleaned. Batteries are included and the only downside is that the batteries don’t last as long as you might like.
The fish start swimming around like real fish as soon as you drop them into water so you can use them in any bowl. If you buy the Robo Fish bowl set you get one fish included.
3. Sulley Monster Mask
This massive furry monster mask based on the hit character Sulley from Monsters University allows kids to control facial movements while they’re wearing it.
The mouth opens and closes along with the child’s, and eyebrows move too, making it seem much more alive than most masks. Kids are free to be scary or silly behind the expressive mask.
4. Chasin’ Cheeky (Hasbro)
This game is aimed at preschoolers but we think it will get kids of all ages over 3 playing actively together, so it’s likely to be a hit with parents as well as children.
You toss rings onto the Chasin’ Cheeky monkey’s tail in the old hoopla style and try to grab a banana out of his mouth. The winner gets to “shake their groove” dancing with the monkey. Simple but fun.
5. Monster High 13 Wishes Dolls (Mattel)
In the new Monster High DVD, the freaky schoolmates go to a 13 Wishes party, so Mattel have released a set of “freakishly fabulous” dolls based on the characters in the party clothes from the DVD.
At the centre of the story is Howleen Wolf (pictured) so we think she’ll be the most popular of the 13 Wishes featured dolls. They all come with a pet, brush, diary and accessories.
Monster High dolls are always popular and the 13 Wishes models will be no exception. A must-have for anybody who collects them or follows their spooky adventures.
6. Doc McStuffins Doctor’s Bag
In case you don’t know, Dottie “Doc” McStuffins is the star of a big hit TV show about a little girl who wants to be a doctor.
In her doctor’s bag you get a sparkly thermometer, blood pressure cuff with working gauge, syringe (no needle of course!), otoscope for the ears and a stethoscope that lights up – so kids can practise their medical skills on any adults, children, dolls or pets who will stay still long enough!
7. LeapPad Ultra (LeapFrog)
The LeapPad Explorer tablet for kids has been one of the best-selling toys for the past few years. Bigger than the standard version, the LeapPad Ultra has a new “rugged” design. It comes in green or pink.
Kids can write and draw on the 7-inch high-resolution screen as well as using it for games or as a video recorder. There’s an MP3 player and front and back cameras. It comes with 11 custom apps and works with many more from the LeapPad library.
We have to say that at the time of writing the Ultra is not getting great reviews. Click on the “check price” link below to see the latest customer reviews because they may respond by improving it at any time.
Meanwhile, have a look at our review of the LeapPad 2 Power which goes into more detail.
8. Chima Lion Chi Temple (Lego)
This massive and intricate new set from Lego features the Lion Chi Temple, the scene of long tribal warfare in the ‘Legends of Chima’ series. Cragger, Razar and Crawley are leading their tribes in a struggle to reach the sacred Chi orb located high above the temple.
The set includes 7 figures with weapons, a rotating tower cannon and an eagle drone fighter. There’s a drawbridge trap, a waterfall and a lion gate. It’s not cheap but there’s a huge amount to play with and it looks like becoming one of the classic Lego sets.
9. VIP Pets
It’s all about the hair with the VIP pets! Each one comes with her own styling accessories and has a unique personality.
VIP pets include rock star Gwen, hippy Nyla, party planner Lady GiGi (pictured) and fashion designer Tiffany. They’re the kind of thing that parents roll their eyes at but little girls adore.
10. Teksta Robotic Puppy
The description says that the Teksta puppy has state-of-the-art sensors that respond to light, sound and physical gestures. He barks, whimpers, sits and does backflips. He can wag his tail, move his ears and even come when called – but he won’t pee on the rug!
The Teksta robotic pup comes in pink or blue. Accessories include a bone and a ball. You are supposed to be able to train him and the expressive eyes show how he’s feeling.
However, we wonder how rigorously Hamleys tested this because the reviews are not good at all. Click on the UK price check link below to see what people are saying.
Some of these toys are not released yet, but bookmark this page or join our newsletter (top right of your screen) and we’ll keep you updated. And for the ones that are available now, you might want to order early in case they sell out nearer to Christmas!