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The Top Ten Toys for Christmas

Christmas is big business!

With Christmas just round the corner, the Toy Retailers Association have revealed their top ten toys for Christmas 2013. Here’s the official list along with the history of the companies behind the popular toys.

We all remember frantically writing down our Christmas wish lists from the Argos catalogue to give to Santa right? The endless amount of Baby Born clothes or a rather tricky Lego set that was sure to send our parents into a cleaning frenzy.

Over the years, the toys children pine after have become more technical and ever more ‘wow’ – with a few retro additions thrown into the mix. Here’s the list, and hopefully, you recognise some toys you had on your wish list:

1. Lego City Coast Guard 60014 (£39.99)

City Coast Guard Lego  This trusty toy has served children well over the years. Lego  started from building basic block houses to more complicated structures such as a coast guard boat complete with two water cannons,  a submarine, six figures, a dinghy and a lighthouse.

The famous brand is now over 50 years old, producing about 19 million Lego bricks each year.  Every second, a retailer somewhere in the world sells seven Lego sets.

In 2000, The British Association of Toy Retailers named the Lego brick “Toy of the Century”, beating the teddy bear, Barbie and Action Man. Well done Lego!

2. Doc McStuffins Doctor’s Bag Set (£12.99)

This toy doctor  set is complete with a thermometer, syringe, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff Doc McStuffins Doctor's Bagand bandages. The Doctor’s Bag Set is created and owned by Flair Leisure Products Plc, trademark owners of plasticine.

They are the number two supplier to independent traders in the UK and probably have the widest and most diverse customer base of any top 20 toy company.

3. Flying Fairy by Flutterbye (£23.29)

Flying Fairy FlowerThis magical fairy is guided through the air by your hand (and 6 AA batteries of course). It is one of the must-have gifts for any girl that loves fantasy and mystical creatures.

Behind this magical creation is Spin Master Toys UK Ltd, a company that was started in 1994 by three university friends armed with just over £6,000.

The company’s first toy was The Earth Buddy, it now boasts a staggeringly success list of awards and recognitions.

Spin Master has successfully transformed itself from a small toy enterprise into an all-encompassing children’s entertainment business.

4. Furby Boom! (around £45.99)

Furby is back and is as glamorous as ever. I have memories of sleepless nights from my younger years when only my Furby could put me to sleep.

Furby Boom!

The company behind this phenomenon is Hasbro., who began creating toys in 1923. It’s  first hit toy was the Mr. Potato Head in 1952.

The company was named by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for in 2013. They also produce some of the most loved children’s toys including Action Man, Cabbage Patch Kids, Play-Doh and the Easy-bake oven.

5. VTech InnoTab 3S (from £69.99)

VTech InnoTab 3SEverything’s gotten technical in the last few years and this VTech 5inch touchscreen children’s tablet featuring a photo/video camera, secure internet browser, art studio and a magic beanstalk game is one of the most popular Christmas toys this year.

Created by Vtech Electronics Europe Plc, the company is the world’s largest manufacturer of cordless telephones and one of the top 50 electronic manufacturing service providers in the world.

6. LeapPad Ultra (£86.99)

Challenging the VTech tablet is this more expensive 7 inch LeapPad tablet which allows LeapPad Ultrachildren to write, draw, take photos and make videos, as well as play games, read eBooks and use the internet powered by secure browser Zui.

The tablet is created by Leapfrog Toys founded in 1995 by a law attorney who was looking for an educational toy for his son. After designing a prototype and raising just under half a million pounds, he launched the company.

In 2002, LeapFrog partnered with Sega Toys and Benesse Corporation to produce localised versions of their toys for the Japanese market.

7. Monopoly Empire (£12.99)

Monopoly EmpireThis version of the popular board game has competition from big name brand like billboards. Hasbro has tried to combat this by making Empire last just 30 minutes.

For over sixty years, some 480 million players from around the globe have played this extraordinary game and more than 275 million games have been sold worldwide. It is available in 111 countries, in 43 language.

8. Monster High 13 Wishes Doll (£12)

Monster High is an American fashion doll franchise created by Mattel in 2010. The 13 wishes dollscharacters are inspired by monster, sci-fi horror, thriller fiction, and various demons movies distinguishing them from other fashion dolls. This is the third year in a row the toys have feature on the top ten list.

Makers, Mattel are the world’s largest toy company founded in 1945 by Harold Matson and Elliot Handler. The company has an annual revenue of £6.2 billion and employ around 28,000 people.

9. Nerf N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 (£23.99)

nerf strikeThe Nerf series, owned by Hasbro was created in 1969 and consists of a variety of  foam-based weaponry. Nerf stands for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

1o. Teksta Robotic Puppy (£46.89)

When I was younger I had something similar to this toy but far less technical. The puppy respondsteksta puppy to voices, gestures, light and sounds, and has more than 100 physical and interactive gestures, including a back flip.

Created by Character Options whose brands include Angry Birds, Peppa Pig, Bob the Builder and Doctor Who; the Character Group plc was founded in 1991.

The company is part of the Alternative Invest Market, a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange which allows smaller companies to float shares with a more flexible regulatory system. Today over 75% of all products marketed by the group are developed in-house.

There you are, the best toys in the land guaranteed to make you the best parent in the world this Christmas.

Vicky Chandler (4 Posts)

I'm Vicky, an undergraduate Journalism student at Cardiff University. As well as my studies, I run a blog Lots of Love, Me. and lead the Journalism Society as President . I've interned at a number of publications including Grazia, Stylist and Essentials, and once I graduate my aim is to work in women's magazines. If you have a good sense of humour and getting the low down on celebrity gossip, you need to give me a follow on Twitter!

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