Consumer: Must-have Christmas toys for 2014 revealed

Three-year-old Eva Frost road-testing a Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile. PIC: Scott Merrylees
Three-year-old Eva Frost road-testing a Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile. PIC: Scott Merrylees
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With less than 50 shopping days left until Christmas, experts have unveiled their predictions for the must-have gifts for boys and girls across Britain.

In a nod to the digital age, the Toy Retailers Association top 12 “DreamToys” features the world’s first wi-fi connected doll and a robot created by scientists in the USA.

Yet featuring equally highly are classic favourites such as Transformer action figures and a new version of Bop It!, the popular audio game which first appeared on shelves in 1996.

Experts say this year’s list is “film-driven” and believe the Benny Spaceship from The Lego Movie, made up of 940 bricks and pieces, will fly off shelves.

Meanwhile, merchandise from the Disney movie Frozen is set to send shoppers into a festive frenzy.

The film has proven such a phenomenon that little girls across the globe will have their hearts set on the Snow Glow Elsa or Sparkle Doll.

DreamToys committee chairman Gary Grant said: “It’s great to see creative and sharing toys sitting alongside more traditional toys or toys that facilitate a bit of rough and tumble.

“And with nearly half the list priced at under £25, it is relevant for all consumers this Christmas.”

Argos chief buyer Linzi Walker said: “It’s so difficult to predict what will take off, things can just start in the playground and become huge.

“Some things are just as popular now as when I was younger – things like board games are always popular.

“Lego has had one of the biggest years we have seen in the last few, it’s wonderful that children are still enjoying creating and building together.”

While retailers do their best to predict the most sought-after toys and buy in bulk to ensure they can meet demand, there are no guarantees they will get it right.

One solution was to invite children to road-test some of the 72 items that feature on the full DreamToys list at the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield yesterday.

Mrs Walker said: “Frozen has been huge everywhere, it’s hard because it’s a global thing.

“Demand soared through the summer and is showing no signs of stopping.”

Mr Grant added: “All of the toys on this list will undoubtedly be popular, so our advice is to shop early to avoid disappointment.”

War story: Benedict Cumberbatch as Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing in the film The Imitation Game. (PA/Studio Canal).

The Leeds warship that helped break the Enigma code