Girls and boys across Ireland might not be writing their letters to Santa just yet, but the elves are already busy at work knocking together this Christmas’ must-have toys.
From hatching electronic creatures and to classic favourites like Nerf, Santa will have a lot to squeeze down the chimney this year.
Parents might be encouraged to see that old-fashioned imagination still has a place in Irish children’s hi-tech world, with realistic baby dolls, Lego projects and re-invented board games still holding their own beneath the tree.
However, incredible toys like Hatchimals, the electronic creature which pecks itself out of an egg in response to touch and the responsive Furby Connect, show just how far toys have advanced throughout the past decade.
Toy experts at Argos predict that robotic pet Zoomer Chimp, who can perform up to 100 tricks, will be the most popular toy requested by children across the UK and Ireland this Christmas, while toy brand Mattel reckon the Fisher Price Code-a-Pillar will be the top toy for children between three and seven keen to sharpen their coding skills.
A recent survey, carried out by ToyTesters.tv in the UK, found that children are most keen to receive SkyLanders Imaginators this Christmas, a game which allows them to create a virtual character in the series for the first time. The children surveyed for the listicle also revealed they were keen to get onto Santa’s nice list in the hopes of receiving the Nerf Tri-Strike Blaster for their efforts.
Paw Patrol’s Air Patroller is another favourite featured on dozens of industry lists ahead of Christmas 2016, while Chad Valley’s Design a Friend dolls (exclusive to Argos) are proving the most popular this year also.
As always, Lego of all varieties, are holding their own on the list, with Lego’s Volcano City and Lego Friends Party Shop sets proving the most popular ahead of the holidays.
The magical creatures, who peck their way our of their multicoloured egg upon touch, are a big favourite for Christmas 2016. The bright-eyed creatures need rearing through three stages of life but can learn to walk, talk and dance with a little bit of patience. RRP Smyths Toys €74.99
The robotic pet, responds to voice commands and can learn up to 100 tricks, and unlike a real monkey, comes without the mass clean-up RRP Smyths Toys: €109.99
Paw Patrol Air Patroller
The newest vehicle in the Paw Patrol Squad is on many wishlists this year, with many large retailers across Ireland and the UK reporting big sales already this year. RRP €49.99
Code-a-Pillar inspires little learners to be big thinkers by going further than ABC’s and 123’s, helping foster coding skills like sequencing, problem solving and critical thinking. RRP Symths Toys €49.99
Furby has come a long way since 1998, and has held his own on the lists of most popular toys throughout the past number of years. Connected to the Furby Connect World app, the creature is one of the most interactive toys on the market this year with much more surprises to discover. RRP Littlewoods, €129.99
Nerf Modulus Tri-Strike
The latest offering from Nerf might mean nobody is safe from foam gunfire in homes throughout the country this Christmas. With three different modes to blast, there'll be plenty of garden warfare this holiday. RRP Littlewoods €74.99
Not content with a plain, old selfie, now dedicated social media stars can up their game with the selfie mic. Connected to a corresponding app, the technology allows selfie takers to sing along to their favourite karaoke classic, captured on camera, of course. RRP: Smyths €24.99
A recent survey found that Skylanders Imaginators is the most desired product as voted for by children this Christmas. The game is allowing its players to create a virtual character for the first time in the popular series. RRP: Skylanders Imaginators Starter Pack Xbox One: €63.99, PS4 €63.99, Wii U €58.99
Lego City Volcano and Lego Friends Party Shop
Lego's latest offerings, City Volcano and Party Shop, happily stray away from technology and focus on old-fashioned imagination. RRP City Volcano €69.99
Snuggles My Dream Puppy
Snuggles moves, breathes and cuddles until he falls asleep, just like a real pet. RRP Boots: €65.99
Chad Valley Dolls
Design a Friend Tiffany Doll and Chad Valley's Tiny Treasures available in Argos.