A talking cuddly electronic pet is the toy most wanted by children this Christmas, judging by the letters posted to Santa Claus.
Disclosing for the first time the presents most requested by children who write to Father Christmas, the Royal Mail said that the £60 Furby topped the top 10 followed by memorabilia about the pop band One Direction.
Subscriptions to the create-a-monster website Moshi Monsters and Apple’s £230 iPad were third and fourth on the list, which also included more old-fashioned favourites such as bikes and Lego.
Every year tens of thousands of excited children pop letters to Santa Claus with addresses such as “Lapland” and “The North Pole”.
Owing to Mr Claus’ toy manufacturing duties, a team of 10 workers based at Santa’s Grotto in Reindeerland (also known as the National Return Centre in Belfast) answer them on his behalf.
The replies begin: “Ho! Ho! Ho! Thank you for sending me your Christmas wishes. It looks like the elves will be busier than ever this year with lots of little boys and girls presents to deliver!”. Santa encloses a Christmas scene to colour in.
Last year children sent 200,000 letters to Father Christmas, Royal Mail said. While the national postal operator said it was too early to calculate the figure for this year, it believed that it would be even higher.
But it warned that children must post their letters to Santa by tomorrow, Friday 14 December, for a reply to be received in time for Christmas.
Father Christmas’s full postal address is:
Children are asked to put a stamp on the letter and include a name and address for a reply.
The gifts children most requested this year:
2. One Direction memorabilia
3. Moshi Monsters
8. Monster High Dolls
9. Dolls & Prams
10. Nerf Guns