There is no doubt that following hot on the trail of the likes of Frozen, film and TV related toys will be the biggest wants this Christmas, and it´s no wonder therefore that the big players are investing a lot in marketing in time for the 2015 holiday season.
Before you start going on about it being “just September”, it´s now only 15 weeks until the big day, and if you want to be sure you get the most sought after toys, you´d better start thinking about it now, before they sell out.
Right through the summer Minions have been just about everywhere you look, with licensed products sold in just about every sector, not only toys and clothing, but even food and drinks. The most bizarre being little yellow Tic-Tacs, perhaps, “Banana”.
With the DVD of the Minions Movie set for release to coincide with Christmas, the trend is set to continue right through until next year. Tumbling Stuart is currently one of the top sellers, as is Bob with his very own teddy bear, who gets so embarrassed when you hug him his cheeks light up! Or, maybe a pair of the rather funky looking Minion Goggles will be top of the wish list, so you can turn yourself into a Minion too, complete with yellow t-shirt and dungarees of course.
Star Wars is also making a welcome return, at least welcomed by studio executives who calculate that Disney stand to make 5 billion dollars from merchandising sales, but the fans are looking forward to it too. Recent research revealed that almost 90% of children’s toy boxes contain toys influenced by their favourite TV shows and films. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will be in cinemas in December, not surprisingly.
For the older kids and (those of us who proudly accept the name “kidults”) how about the Star Wars Millennium Falcon Drone? It´s a little on the pricey side, which is why it´s really reserved for those who appreciate the finer collectible, but it can really fly and can do tricks, just like the real thing, although the real thing didn´t actually fly and do tricks of course.
Star Wars Legendary Jedi Master Yoda is set to be a favourite too, standing 16-inches tall and is fully interactive with full voice recognition. He can spin a full 360 degrees, move his arms in order to wield a glowing lightsaber and speak 115 different phrases.
On the subject of interactive toys, remember Furby? The little bird-shaped ball of fluff that would learn as it got to know you. Well, Furby is back, this time riding the tails of Star Wars with the Furbacca Furby, which can even hum the theme tune.
Lego are also continuing their relationship with the Star Wars franchise, and so the shelves will be flooded with build-it-yourself kits, all rather expensive compared to the Lego enjoyed by those of us now of a certain age, and lacking the creativity that it once had, but nonetheless, a favourite for this year.
Meccano is back, although this time still offering something different for the creative and dextrous with the Meccanoid Robot Toy, a “four-foot tall, programmable, walking, talking robot” for children. The free-standing, voice-controlled, battery-powered robot can be programmed via a smartphone app to perform various tasks… Hang on a minute, do children have smartphones? Either way, the fact that your completed creation can initiate conversations, remember birthdays and mimic movements could make it a handy addition to any family.
Also making a return this year we have seen Thunderbirds, and so Tracy Island is expected to be a big seller, or you could just stock up on washing up liquid bottles and sticky-back plastic instead. Playmobil have launched their new interactive animated show, Super-4, and are already teasing with a range of products to accompany that. Peppa Pig, My Little Pony and Barbie are all working their way to toy shop stores as we speak, ready to beat the rush, but experts are still not dismissing Frozen, still as popular as ever, so maybe this will be the year when you actually manage to buy Skate and Sing Elsa, a multi-tasking model that skates and sings at the same time. And the song she sings is…