Technology is changing the way children are able to interact with their toys, according to the Toy Retailers Association (TRA), which unveiled its annual ‘Dream Toy’ list yesterday.
Unveiling the industry’s official predictions for the Christmas best-sellers, the association noted that, although a number of traditional games were included in the list, new technology has seen a growth in popularity.
The ‘dream dozen’ is headed by Doggie Doo, while over half of the entrants are interactive, technology-based offerings.
On a broader scale, the association lists the top 70 toys for the period, which includes family favourite boardgames, action toys and character toys such as Dr Who, Moshi Monsters and Star Wars.
The list follows the unveiling of a top ten by department store John Lewis, which this week opened a new children’s floor at its Oxford Street store ahead of the Christmas rush.
Gary Grant, Chairman of the TRA’s Dream Toys selection panel, acknowledged the considerable technological innovation in the toy industry.
“This year we’ve seen some amazing technological advancements from the toy industry. This doesn’t mean to say that the toys are ‘techy’; rather that technology has been used to enrich the whole experience of play,” he explained.
“Throughout the top 70 toys we’re also seeing a fantastic mix of the old and new – including traditional brands like Scalextric powering into 2012 with an Olympic inspired set, a board game of skill and action based on the phenomenon that is the Angry Birds app and classic characters such as Mickey Mouse brought bang up to date for today’s savvy kids.
“All proving that the industry continues to be incredibly forward thinking, innovative and adaptable.”
The group has also announced that the top toys have been tested and judged by both parents and children for the first time, allowing for a more inclusive and representative list.
Children were asked to put the toys through rigorous testing and to judge them based on factors including: ‘fun to play’, ‘boredom factor’, ‘coolness’, ‘breakability’ and ‘play with friends’.
Technology game Angry Birds topped the children’s list, while other entrants fairly represented the divide between the sexes, as ‘emotion pet’ Milky the Bunny reached the list as well as Top Agents Super Racer.
Mothers were asked to give their seal of approval to their two favourite pre-school toys, choosing Imaginex Batcave and Kiddizoom Twist.
“It’s so exciting to find out what kids and parents think of TRA’s top 70 toys and it’s hugely encouraging to see that there are similarities with the overall Dream Dozen, showing that us ‘oldies’ still know what we’re talking about,” Grant said of the choices.
“Seeing the results, we know that the love for creative play, building sets and plush toys is just as strong as it is for the latest must-haves such as the LeapPad Explorer, and parents can rest assured that it’s not the most expensive toys that are the most popular, with many of the favourites under £20.”