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:
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!
This toy doctor set is complete with a thermometer, syringe, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and 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.
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.
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.
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.
Everything’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 children 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.
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 characters 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.
When I was younger I had something similar to this toy but far less technical. The puppy responds 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.