A massive stunt loop track for Hot Wheels toy cars to race round and “farting” board game Gassy Gus are predicted to be among the must-have toys this Christmas.
This year the DreamToys list, drawn up by the Toy Retailers Association, is heavily influenced by spin-offs from major films and TV shows with trucks, figurines and Lego sets inspired by Star Wars, Jurassic World and Paw Patrol all making the cut.
Nearly £1bn will be spent on toys between now and Christmas Eve and Gary Grant, the chair of the DreamToys selection committee, said the toy industry was working hard to overcome the supply chain crisis and ensure “there will be toys on shelves” throughout the festive period.
View image in fullscreenThe new Hot Wheels loop track at DreamToys 2021 preview event in London. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian
The Hot Wheels brand has been around for decades but fans are always eager to up the ante, with the £55 “massive loop mayhem” offering a more than 70cm-wide stunt track.
With families also keen on games they can play together, the £25 game Gassy Gus is tipped for big things. Players take turns to feed Gus, who has an inflating belly, but you do not want him to let rip on your turn.
To satisfy younger children there is a £45 transforming car that had a starring role in the recent Paw Patrol movie as well as toys linked to other hit children’s TV shows CoComelon and Bluey. The average price across the dozen toys is £36.
Another predicted bestseller is the Magic Mixies Cauldron, which has been described as the “wow toy of 2021”. The set, which costs £70, comes with a wand, spell book, potions and interactive toy, and manufacturers expect to sell 70,000 in the UK in the last three months of 2021.
Grant, who is also the chair of The Entertainer toy chain, said that while toy shop shelves looked full now, with the biggest sales weeks of the year still to come, the industry’s stock levels would soon be depleted.
View image in fullscreenThe ‘farting’ board game Gassy Gus is tipped for big things this festive season. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian
“There is no obvious shortage of toys in the industry today but you have to bear in mind that from the first week in November through to Christmas Eve we have roughly 40% of the annual toy industry turnover,” he said. “It’s a huge, really intense period.”
Grant said that come December more of the must-have toys than usual would be hard to come by. There would be no shortage of toys, he said, however a greater number of the must-haves “you won’t be able to buy”.
“There’s no reason to panic but we are saying if children have already made up their mind what they want it would be prudent to buy earlier than later,” he added.
DreamToys Top 12
Barbie Dreamtopia Colour Change Mermaid £25
Bluey Family Home Playset £40
CoComelon JJ Doll £40
Gassy Gus £25
Hot Wheels Massive Loop Mayhem £55
Jurassic World Scorpios Rex £32
LOL Surprise Movie Magic Doll £11
Little Live Pets My Pig Piggly £25
Magic Mixies Cauldron £70
Paw Patrol Chase’s Deluxe Transforming Vehicle £45
Pokémon 8” plush Pikachu £14
Star Wars Boba Fett’s Starship Lego £45