Christmas toys go back to the future

5 November 2012
Remember, remember the fifth of November. You might think today’s blog should be on the subject of Bonfire Night, but apparently Christmas has now officially started. Later today Robbie Williams will flick the switch on the twinkly illuminations and decorations lining Oxford Street in London. This may seem a little premature, but parents are already preparing themselves for the annual nightmare of buying the “2012” Christmas toy.

The Toy Retailers Association has announced this year’s 13 must-have toys, signalling the start of annual panic buying up and down the country.

This year’s selection is described as “nostalgia with a twist”, as old favourites such as Lego, Cabbage Patch Kids and Twister get a modern makeover.  Many parents will have fond childhood memories of such classics. But probably the most popular comeback (among children, at least) will be the Furby, the massive trend from 1998. These electronic creatures sold in excess of 40 million in their first three years and 2012 looks set to be another successful year for these updated creatures, where they now have the ability to adapt their personality in reaction to user behaviour and have their own app. New technology also features on the list, with the use of apps, interactivity, touch screens or integrated multi-functions such as e-readers and cameras. The next couple of months are very important for the toy industry, where more than a third of UK toy sales occur, totalling around £1 billion. In 2011, £280 was spent per child under 12 on average. And the UK market is the biggest in Europe, worth £2.9 billion last year.
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