Top toys to make yours a happy Christmas story

Shopping for toys this Christmas need not break the bank, according to the Toy Retailers Association. Its annual 'Dream Toys' list is the official prediction of Christmas bestsellers and, happily, 2009's list only contains toys under £50, with many under £30. Here we recommend the 10 best


Sylvanian Families Caravan (Flair), £39.99

The Sylvanian Families go from strength to strength, encouraging imaginative play among children aged four and over. This fabulously quaint caravan opens up to reveal a well-equipped kitchen, seating area and shower room – and by unfolding the sections, more space, including sleeping areas, is created. With more than 30 accessories, including miniature postcards and maps, it offers hours of play value.



Go Go Pets (Character Options), £9.99

These fast and furious hamsters are the latest craze in the playground and satisfy children's desire to collect, interact and nurture. There are four hamsters in the litter – Mr Squiggles, Num Nums, Pipsqueak and Chunk – and the makers already have plans for more. But best be quick, these cute little critters are selling out fast so you'll probably have to shop around to find one.



Bendaroos Mega Pack (Spin Master), £19.99

Develop your children's artistic streak by encouraging them to create magical creatures with these flexible building sticks. The Mega Pack has everything you need to get really creative – including 400 Bendaroos in 12 rainbow colours, stencils and a "cut'n'join" tool for extra neat finishes. Aimed at children aged 5-9. A dream for parents longing for their kids to spend a bit of quiet time at the kitchen table.



Monopoly City (Hasbro), £24.99

If you thought that laughing at someone for ending up in jail was as brutal as it gets with Monopoly, think again. In this brand new 3D version aimed at children aged eight and over, players can devalue each other's properties by building sewers and prisons on their opponents land. Players can build their very own property portfolio from the first roll of the dice – and indeed start destroying their opponents' with unrivalled ruthlessness.



Princess Peppa Pig's Palace (Character Options), £39.99

Peppa Pig is the fastest growing pre-school concept in the UK. This play set reflects Peppa's love of playing at princesses. When the palace folds out, it reveals a well-appointed banqueting hall with thrones for king and queen, along with lots of other spaces in which to have adventures. A bed, table, chairs, cauldron and even a guardsman are all included. Also consider the Royal Carriage (£14.99), and Sir George and the Dragon play set (£12.99).

Battle Strikers Starter Set (Mega Brands), £9.99

A new, unique twist on the old children's favourite the spinning top, these super-charged tops require no rip cords and their powerful motorised launcher means they can gain mega-fast speeds. Battle Strikers can also be directed around using a special magnetic controller on your finger, meaning it takes skill to knock your opponents out of the game. The starter kit contains a turbo launcher, finger controller and striker, and is aimed at boys aged six and over.



Kidizoom Multimedia Digital Camera (VTech), £49.99

Take pictures, make movies and play games with this fun and easy damage-proof digital camera for kids. Aimed at children aged three and over, it features easy-to-use controls and a dual viewfinder. You can edit and view photos when connected to a computer and even change the faceplates to personalise it. And when linked to the television, it lets you play games too.



Lego Games Minotaurus (Lego), £17.99

Build the maze using the template provided, then play to be the first knight to reach the secret temple in the Minotaur's labyrinth. Watch out for opponents blocking you as you travel through the maze, and take care as other players challenge you by moving the Minotaur playing piece to send you back to the start. Aimed at children aged seven and over.



Ben 10 Alien Force Kevin Levin Action cruiser (Bandai), £10.95

Kevin's DX Action Cruiser – which comes with an exclusive Kevin figure – is a replica of the vehicle from the Ben 10 Alien Force episodes. Aimed at kids aged four and over, this is fully loaded with unique features, allowing it to transform into "battle mode" and shoot out DNA alien capsules filled with "planetary powder".



GX Racers Tightrope Terror (Flair), £22.99

After a new concept that will satisfy kids with a need for speed? These 1:64 scale cars achieve extreme speeds and perform unique stunts. The Tightrope Terror Stunt Set has cars that can travel between the tracks along a tightrope, as well as performing other breathtaking stunts and tricks. Ideal for children with a love of toy cars aged seven and over.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

    £24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

    Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

    Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

    Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there