Furby rides again: The must-have toy this Christmas is back with an app

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Nick Donaldson and daughter Nancy reveal what's going to be on children's wish lists

How quickly they grow up. A year ago my daughter, Nancy, would have squealed with delight at the 6ft Moshi Monster ambling towards her. Now, however, she dismisses it with the words: "I am 10. Moshis are for kids."

But Katsuma, the cheery-faced monster, seemed unworried. There's always another batch of younger kids more than happy to take up the toy mantle, and he is soon mobbed by a hysterical crowd of under-nines.

The Dream Toys 2012 event in London, which Nancy and I are attending for a second time, is where manufacturers and retailers unveil what they hope will be the must-have toys this Christmas – from iPad-style tablets for kids, to robot spiders that fire mini-missiles at your ankles, to more traditional dolls, soft toys and board games.

The market for toys has held up well during the interminable recession, a symptom of our child-centric world where parents will do almost anything to ensure that their offspring wake on Christmas morning to a sea of presents underneath the tree.

The days are long gone when a mere stocking containing KerPlunk, Frustration! or Twister and a couple of Brazil nuts and a satsuma were enough. But some of these traditional toys have moved with the times, updating and reinventing themselves for a more complicated and gadget-savvy world.

Twister itself can now be found in the guise of Twister Dance, where music, flashing lights and dancing have replaced the old-school contortion act. Other old favourites continue to blossom: Lego has had a phenomenally good year, the Cabbage Patch Kids have raised their swollen heads, and Nerf soft-dart guns still remain top of Santa's list for millions of schoolboys.

Another pumped-up reinvention that will surely send a shiver of fear down any parent's spine is the return of the dreaded Furby, the Gremlins-esque cuddly toy which constantly babbled and clicked until it was shut in a cupboard. Nancy headed straight for it, oohing and aahing at its huge flashing eyes. I felt the cash leaking from my bank account as she cuddled five of them at once (they're £55 a pop). But they have moved with the times and are now bigger, cuter and quieter (thankfully) and interact in ways the old Furby could only dream of.

Also, like many of the new toys, they work in conjunction with smartphone or computer apps that expand their playability at little or no extra cost.

So raise a Christmas cheer… only 53 days left to fill those stockings and empty your bank account.

Top toys: Nancy's verdict

1. Furby "I liked the way you could feed him by sliding food from a phone or iPad."

2. Lego Lord Of The Rings "I would never get bored with it and I would like switching the bodies and heads around."

3. Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire "Awesome, the bullets go so far, so quickly. I would love to play this with all my friends in a massive battle."

4. Logo: What Am I? "Fun board game. You get to draw your favourite logos… It's more fun than it sounds."

5. Monster High and Ghouls Rule dolls "I like the look of them and I liked the school for them to play in."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Engineer

    £18000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established name in IT Ser...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map