Savvy Ways to Buy Christmas Toys

It’s official; it is now acceptable to talk about Christmas, as the annual Dream Toys top 12 from the Toy Retailers Association have been announced.
Santa can instruct the elves to load the sleigh with the correct toys, although I have a sneaky suspicion they knew to load Lego and the latest Nerf gun already, as their position in the wish list seems set in stone.

The top 12 for 2014 are:

  • Bop-It! Beats
  • Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa
  • Disney Frozen Sparkle Doll (Assorted)
  • Kidizoom Smart Watch
  • Little Live Pets Bird Cage
  • Minecraft Figures
  • My Friend Cayla
  • Nerf Demolisher 2-in-1
  • The Lego Movie – Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!
  • Toot-Toot Animals Safari Park
  • Transformers Stomp & Chomp Grimlock
  • Zoomer Dino – Boomer

Before you go and load up your basket have a quick read below of ways to make massive savings.

Save over 50% shopping around

If you fancy one of these latest favourites then the trick is to shop around.

Picking four examples.

Top Toy RRP One retailer Top price
Bop-it! Beats £21.99 £22 Asda £14
Lego Movie £79.99 £80 Smyths £53.99
My Friend Cayla £59.99 £55 Smyths £43.99
Nerf Demolisher 2in1 £44.99 £45 Amazon £20.99

Prices were viewed at the time of writing and to save embarrassment the highest retailer (in each case a well known retailer) has not been identified to save their blushes. Equally sometimes the best price has been offered by more than one store.

Over the coming weeks prices typically swap around hugely and the likes of Amazon, Argos, Smyths and Toys R Us amongst others (including supermarkets) can regularly trade places as the top-priced store.

Look for special offers

Many retailers offer incentives enticing you to spend more, however you can turn this to your advantage if you are purchasing multiple presents. Retail offers change more than Santa’s Sat Nav routes on Christmas Eve, but at the time of writing some of the offers included 3 for 2 on all toys with Argos. Toys R Us are offering a £15 voucher if you spend £100 or more. Voucher codes are also a great way to make savings just by inputting a code, a current example is the Entertainer offering 5% off all orders.

The list is only the beginning

The Dream Toys list is an inspiration to many who struggle to think of what to buy children for Christmas, but is a drop in the ocean to what else is on offer. What about a board game to amuse all the family? Again it is about shopping around to gain the best prices and taking advantage of offers.

Game RRP One major retailer Best price
Monopoly Empire £21.99 £21.99 Argos £14.99
Pointless £19.99 £27 Amazon £14.85
The Chase £22.99 £30 Amazon £16.78

If you have three families to buy for, this is where the Argos 3 for 2 could be advantageous – 3 versions of Monopoly Empire working out at £10 per board game. Or you can mix and match – Monopoly Empire and two Pointless for £29.98.

Avoid the big mistake

Many toys require batteries, so if you want smiles on the children’s faces make sure you have stocked up before Christmas. However if you fancy toys that don’t require batteries John Lewis announced the Slow Toy Awards last month, the creation of Thierry Bourret.

Experiences are great gifts

Toys and games are the traditional route for gifts, but what about experiences? These can be for tickets to sports events or shows. Or think out of the box; for example escape games, where you are locked in a room and you have to solve problems as a team in order to escape – this one is in Edinburgh, but there are plenty of others around the country. For the adventurous, how about Go Ape where you are climbing on tree tops in the woods?

Happy present hunting!


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