Every year the toys get more incredible: more interactive, more technologically brilliant, more creative, and – understandably perhaps – more expensive. So every year when I go to the unveiling of what will be the Top Twelve best selling toys that Christmas, I like to look at what else these manufacturers are making that is affordable – as a stocking filler or presents for your children to give their friends, or gifts that can be requested from relatives without embarrassment at the cost! Anyone can sell something cheap, cheaply. So I like to look for things that look like a proper gift – it needs to cost around £15.
I don’t understand the obsession with Beanies – and yet I know it to be true.
Is it their big eyes, their crazy colours or the fact that you can get so many different animals chances are they will have the species that your particular child loves – be it pandas or dogs, seals or penguins. And beyond the desire for the favourite creature, as interpreted by TY’s creative department with sparkly ears or multicoloured coat, is the desire to collect these Beanie Boo’s.
I am also a fan – because they are a toy that will give genuine and lasting pleasure and the medium sized beanies are around £10 to £15 depending where you shop – which is good for a proper present that will be enjoyed! You can get smaller ones too for stocking fillers as in the picture!
Barbies have come in for a lot of criticism over the years for their thinness and the pinkness of their clothes and accessories. Personally I think girls have far more sense than to want to look like a doll made of plastic with legs and arms that move in scary angles and a head that will sometimes spin 360 degrees. However, some are determined that they are damaging and the manufacturers have certainly worked hard to introduce dolls that are a better reflection of our diverse population with a variety of fashion styles. Probably best to check with mum before buying for a Goddaughter – however they are around £15 and if they are what a child wants then they seem good value so they make my list!
Finding Dory goldfish are great for bath-time -and great for stocking fillers – and you can get them in a coffee pot like in the movie if you want to spend a bit more. ( £19.99)
Another popular new collectible perfect for stockings are these cute Disney Tsum Tsum – they are squishy plastic rather than the plush variety adn you can stack them – much harder than it looks actually! They also do an Advent Calendar.
Star Wars never seems to lose its popularity – look out for the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar for your little one if they are a fan but buy early they sell out in early November.
And I’ve just seen a Stormtroopers outfit going cheap at £15 at the Disneystore online – not my thing but wanted to share the love with the parents of diehard fans!
Lego is a good one for the affordable present list because while their best sellers are always more expensive – check out the lovely Friends Amusement Park Rollercoaster for a mere ( £89.99) they do sell lego at every price.
The Creator range with an Ocean Explorer, Lakeside Lodge and Supersoarer are all under £15 and will keep your children busy for a few hours at least!
There are a few toys in the Top 12 Dreamtoys that come in at under £20 and so would fit in the affordable toys for some people. One that is very much on the money is the SelfieMic (£19.99) it does what is says ( you make your own music videos) and will no doubt be loved by children and hated by their despairing parents in equal measure. There are also a couple of games priced at £19.99 that everyone will be talking about that you will probably get for aroudn £15 – Silly Sausage by John Adams and Speak Out by Hasbro. Both predicted to be best sellers this Christmas. And while we are on games the ridiculously popular Pie Face is back – this time with two facespaces that cane be splattered with cream – double the trouble!
Other new toys under £20
Gas Out is also new and involves playing cards, a character called Guster, and farting – what’s not to like if you are a child! Soggy Doggy is a board game involving showering a toy dog! There is a Play-doh Ice Cream Castle or Stretch Armstrong a stretchy doll that can be pulled four times his original size for the younger ones or a Real Baking Chocolate Pen for Bake-Off fans.
Old Favourites under £15.
Twister, Monopoly, Labyrinth, Bananagrams are all old favourites and great for getting the family off their screens and round a table ( or all over the floor for Twister). Just wear headphones to drown out the initial screams of deprivation. All are available for between £10 and £15. Orchard Toys and Ravensburger do some great games and puzzles for younger children – Tip the Ship being one of my all time favourites! And for stocking fillers don’t forget the Rubik’s Cube for less than £10!
Remaining Top 12 Predicted Bestsellers this Christmas ( over £20)
Shopkins Kitchen Flair £24.99
Snuggle My Dream Puppy £49.99
Nerf strike elite Hyperfire £49.99
Star Wars Rebel U- Wing Fighter Lego £69.99
Hot wheels ultimate garage £89.99
Thomas and Friends Sky High Bridge Jump £99.99
Paw Patrol Air Patroller £39.99