Written by Tracey Blake
So I went to the Hamleys Christmas preview and got to have a look and a play with the toys that they think will be the biggest hits this Christmas. I managed to duck various drones and avoid being Pie Faced, but as I left the store I somehow slipped over and fell flat on the floor. Oh dear. I think I fall over more than any other grownup I know!
Anyway, here’s the list of gift big-hitters!
My Magic showcase
They say: The ultimate magic made easy set! This incredible set can transform from a case into a magician’s table with an augmented reality 3D magic man! The set includes the secrets to 200 fantastic tricks plus Marvin’s Magic App to perform amazing 3D interactive tricks with your phone or tablet, as well as exclusive access to video tips, tricks and techniques. Suitable for ages 6+. Magic Showcase retails for £20 at Hamleys
My view: Great fun but possibly quite fiddly for young kids – the man magic’d rabbits in my hand and I have no idea how he did it!
Pie Face showdown – BUY IT NOW
They say: The hilarious Pie Face Showdown game brings friends and family together for lots of laugh-out-loud fun. Dare to play and risk getting a face full of whipped cream or a soggy hit with a wet sponge as the pie thrower randomly chooses its victim! Suitable for ages 5+ Pieface Showdown retails for £25 at Hamleys
My view: You can’t go wrong with this one, my two love the original. But I don’t love cleaning up after it!
DreamWorks Trolls Hug Time Poppy BUY IT NOW
The say: DreamWorks Trolls Poppy is a loveable, colourful princess who always takes a break for Hug Time, no matter where her adventures take her. Inspired by the DreamWorks Trolls movie, Hug Time Poppy stands 14 inches tall and speaks 25 phrases when you press her tummy. She even plays songs from the film because with a song in your heart, you can do anything! Rock her back and forth so that it looks like she’s dancing to the beat. Kids can wear a light up bracelet just like the dolls – when activated, their matching bracelets and the doll’s hair all light up to the beat of the music. Give her a hug and join the fun! Suitable for ages 4+ Hug Time Poppy retails for £50
My view: Girls will love the matching bracelet for them. I think the novelty may wear off quite fast though.
Nerf Mega Mastodon BUY IT NOW
They say: Dominate Nerf blaster battles with the first-ever motorised Nerf MEGA blaster! The Nerf MEGA Mastodon blaster boasts incredible rapid-fire speeds to send MEGA Whistler darts screaming through the air from its integrated 24-dart drum. Bring the MEGA Mastodon blaster into action to overwhelm opponents with its imposing size. Use the shoulder strap for easy manoeuvring to be ready for Nerf battles anytime, anywhere. Includes shoulder strap and 24 MEGA Whistler Darts. Suitable for ages 8+ Nerf Mega Mastodon retails for £90 at Hamleys
My view: Fab for the garden come Summer but I’m not sure I’d want this going off in my house! And it’s £90!
Paw Patrol Zoomer BUY IT NOW
They say: Bring home your very own PAW Patrol pup with Zoomer Marshall! This interactive pup really talks, moves on his own and responds to touch and movement. Marshall is ready for a ruff-ruff rescue and comes complete with a transforming Pup Pack and spring-loaded water cannon launchers. Join Marshall on real missions from the PAW Patrol show and press his head to make him say real Marshall catchphrases and sounds. Suitable for ages 3+ Paw Patrol Zoomer retails for £70 at Hamleys
My view: Monty loves Paw Patrol and I’m sure he’d be delighted to receive this, but I am a bit over robot animals!
Giant BeanBoozled game BUY IT NOW
They say: These Jelly Belly jelly beans may look alike but they could not taste more different from each other. Think you can tell them apart? We dare you. The Giant Spinner Game debuts the 4th edition BeanBoozled flavour collection, including brand new flavours Spoiled Milk which is paired with Coconut and the perfectly awful tasting Dead Fish, the nicer half of these twins is Strawberry Banana Smoothie – which would you prefer?! Suitable for ages 3+ Giant BeanBoozled retails for £25 at Hamleys
My view: Clever and I remember when Jelly Belly beans first arrived and were terribly cool when I was at school. I coulnd’t be coerced into trying the Rotten Egg or Spoiled Milk Beans – I was told they were so nasty they had to have a spit bowl handy. Kids will adore the yuck factor. And very reasonably priced.
LEGO Star Wars Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle BUY IT NOW
They say: The LEGO Star Wars Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle lets kids recreate fantastic scenes from the blockbuster movie. The set includes five minifigures (Pao, Director Krennic, Bohdi Rook and two Imperial Death Troopers, plus a K-2SO Droid), two blasters for the Imperial Death Troopers, Krennic’s blaster, Bohdi’s blaster pistol and Pao’s blaster rifle and special combat backpacks. Measuring over 45cm high, 25cm long and 56cm wide in flying mode and over 33cm high, and 18cm wide in landing mode, this is the perfect set for LEGO fans ages from 9 to 14 years. Suitable for ages 9yrs + LEGO Star Wars Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle retails for £80 at Hamleys.
My view: Monty has never seen Star Wars but he’s bonkers for it and he loves Lego – winner!
V-Tech Kidizoom Smart Watch BUY IT NOW
They say: This durable and multifunctional smart watch features a camera for on the go photo and video taking, over 50 different 3D style digital and analogue clock faces and eight great games. Kids can monitor their activity with the pedometer and Action Challenge activities which use the motion sensor and learn to tell the time with the Time Master activity. Other games can be downloaded by connecting to the Learning Lodge. Suitable for ages 4+ Kidizoom Smart Watch retails for £43 at Hamleys
My view: I was pleasantly surprised by the cost. If parents have an Apple Watch then their children will feel like they have the mini version with this. Quite hard to take away though if they play too many games with it strapped on their wrist!
Fisher-Price® Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar BUY IT NOW
They say: Code-A-Pillar inspires little learners to be big thinkers by encouraging pre-schoolers to arrange (and rearrange) the easy-to-connect segments in endless combinations, sending Code-a-pillar on his path. This learning toy encourages experimentation while developing important skills like problem solving, planning and sequencing and critical thinking. There’s no end to the combinations kids can make – mix up the segments and put them back together to send Code-a-pillar in a different direction every time! Suitable for ages 3 +, Code-A-Pillar retails for £50 at Hamleys
My view: Video review from Minnie to come, but coding is the future and this is the way to get your kids into it early.
Star Wars Virtual Reality Viewers BUY IT NOW
They say: Immerse yourself in 3D and 360-degree world of Star Wars with the new range of special edition virtual reality viewers. In a nod to the gold shine finish of C-3PO, the viewers come in a gold-varnish, taking you to virtual worlds optimised by a smartphone. The viewer uses the ‘Works with Google Cardboard’ accreditation programme and works with all VR apps on the app store to promise a unique experience for kids (and grown-ups alike) this Christmas. VR content is available: http://www.starwars.co.uk/vr Suitable for ages 8+ Star Wars Virtual Reality Viewer retails for £15 at Hamleys
My view: A great, reasonable gift for Star Wars mad youngsters.