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.

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?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

    £18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

    Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview