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These are the 20 must-have toys for Christmas 2023

This year’s DreamToys list is out. Lisa Salmon takes a look.

(Dream Toys/PA)

From old favourites like Barbie and LEGO, to AI-inspired twists on classic games, and an oven that bakes a plush scented puppy or kitten, this year’s DreamToys list has been revealed.

Once again, it predicts the must-have toys for Christmas, and this year the list has been expanded from a Top 12 to a Top 20, featuring toys for every age group – including ‘kidults’ – and catering for a range of budgets.

Toys start at £8.99 for the little plush Squishmallows collectable animals, with the most expensive item – the huge 6,020-piece LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle – coming in at £149.99.

And Paul Reader, chair of the Toy Retailers Association’s DreamToys selection committee, points out that many of the ‘hero’ brands featured also sell smaller, more affordable items – so parents on tighter budgets could still pick up something from these brands.

“When we sit down and look at the list, we are very aware of the cost-of-living crisis and disposable incomes, and we’re aware that we’ve got to be mindful of cost,” said Reader. “With pretty much every brand, there are price points at entry levels of about £3, way up to the hero line prices.”

As ever, he advised that it’s best to buy early.

“I can assure you we won’t run out of toys,” Reader promised. “But if you know what you want off the list, buy it early and don’t wait until Christmas Eve. There’s stock available now, all retailers have got most of these items in, but our advice is shop early – don’t leave it too late.”

Here are the top 20 DreamToys for 2023, in no particular order…

Pokémon 151 Elite Trainer Box, £52.99

Pokémon 151 Elite Trainer Box (DreamToys/PA)

A new take on the Pokémon monsters trading card game, aimed at kids aged six years and over.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Pizza Van, £39.99

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Pizza Van (DreamToys/PA)

A spin-off from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem movie, this pizza delivery van has room for all four Turtles – and kids can hit the pizza slice button so the side door swings open, before firing pizzas at the baddies via the launcher. Aimed at Ninja Turtle lovers aged four and over.

MINTiD Dog-E Interactive Robot Dog, £89.99

MINTiD Dog-E Interactive Robot Dog (DreamToys/PA)

No two Dog-Es are the same, as they each boast a unique combination of colourful lights, sounds and personality traits. The cute dog can communicate by using its tail and showing emotes, icons and messages in its lights – and pet-lovers can track Dog-E’s needs, feed and throw it a treat with the included app, and train it to learn their name and do tricks. Suitable for age six and over.

Fingerlings Monkey Assortment, £17.99

Fingerlings Monkey Assortment (DreamToys/PA)

Fingerlings are interactive soft baby monkeys that offer more than 70 sounds and reactions. Kids aged over five years can put them on their fingers and watch their heart glow and their personality change.

Twister Air, £24.99

Twister Air (DreamToys/PA)

Instead of the whole family getting tangled up on a Twister mat, with this new tech version, players can strike crazy poses in front of a screen. You download the Twister Air app, put your smart device on the included stand, then pop special Twister Air bands on your wrists and ankles before trying to move to match the spots on the screen. Aimed at kids aged eight and over.

Super Mario Movie Fire-Breathing Bowser, £34.99

Super Mario Movie Fire-Breathing Bowser (DreamToys/PA)

Another movie spin-off, this time from The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Add water to the seven-inch Bowser figure’s reservoir on the back of his hair, and watch as ’fire’ – illuminated atomised vapour – shoots from his mouth. For ages three and up.

Squishmallows, £8.99 each

Squishmallows (DreamToys/PA)

Each 7.5-inch cute, colourful and collectable Squishmallow animal has its own unique name and bio. Aimed at children aged from three.

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle, £149.99

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (DreamToys/PA)

This impressive castle set contains 6,020 pieces of LEGO and includes minifigures, micro figures, Dementors and boats. Aimed at ‘children’ aged 16-plus, Reader says: “The LEGO castle is the most expensive product on the list, but it’s more of a what we call a ‘kidult’ line, aimed at adults.”

LEGO Star Wars Ahsoka Tano’s T6 Jedi Shuttle, £64.99

LEGO Star Wars Ahsoka Tano’s T6 Jedi Shuttle (DreamToys/PA)

Containing a more modest 601 pieces, kids who build this Jedi Shuttle starship can play out their own Star Wars action with the included minifigures and weapons. Aimed at kids aged nine and above.

Barbie Pop Reveal, £26.99

Barbie Pop Reveal (DreamToys/PA)

This is a scented and posable Barbie doll, complete with a squishy and scented pet and accessories – like a squishy mini-drink and Barbie roller-skates that match the fruit flavour theme. Aimed at children aged three and over.

Pictionary vs AI, £23.99

Pictionary vs AI (DreamToys/PA)

In this Pictionary game, players still sketch – but it’s AI that guesses what they’ve drawn (although other players can also predict what the picture is and win points if they guess correctly). For ages eight and above.

Hot Wheels City Ultimate Hauler, £94.99

Hot Wheels City Ultimate Hauler (DreamToys/PA)

This toy car transporter transforms into a growling and stomping T-Rex dinosaur, whose back is a two-lane race track for the included Hot Wheels cars. For kids aged four and over.

MGA’s Miniverse – Make It Mini Kitchen, £44.99

MGA’s Miniverse – Make It Mini Kitchen (DreamToys/PA)

This sweet mini kitchen comes with realistic mini ingredients and accessories, so kids can make their own mini replicas of their favourite snacks and desserts by following the included recipe card. For ages eight and above.

L.O.L. Surprise! Magic Flyers, £36.99

L.O.L. Surprise! Magic Flyers (DreamToys/PA)

Each Magic Flyer doll lives in a magic bottle that comes to life when children touch or rub it. They can watch it shake or light up, and when the lid’s pulled back the doll will fly high, guided by the child’s hand. Not suitable for under-threes.

Fluffie Stuffiez Large Plush, £34.99

Fluffie Stuffiez Large Plush (DreamToys/PA)

Fluffie fans can pull the outer layer of fluff from their Fluffie Stuffiez, placing it in the squishy pouch to reveal the character underneath. For kids aged four and over.

Beast Lab, £89.99

Beast Lab (DreamToys/PA)

A shark creator set containing an electronic figure, moulded fizz, a bag of ooze, dissolvable paper, and fizz powder to make a Havoc Hammerhead or Mayhem Megashark. For kids aged five and above.

Little Live Pets My Puppy’s Home, £64.99

Little Live Pets My Puppy’s Home (DreamToys/PA)

My Puppy’s Home comes as a flat-pack, with all the necessary tools and parts for kids to build a cute little puppy home. For animal-lovers aged five and over.

Cookeez Makery Oven Playset, £39.99

Cookeez Makery Oven Playset (DreamToys/PA)

Little chefs can mix the included ingredients, then use the dough mould and included tools to add features, before popping their creation in the oven for 90 seconds to reveal a warm and deliciously scented plush puppy, kitten or bunny toy that’s interactive to play with. For ages five and over.

PAW Patrol Skye Mighty Movie Jet, £49.99

Paw Patrol Skye Mighty Movie Jet (DreamToys/PA)

Skye clips into the cockpit of her jet plane, and kids can squeeze the lever to rotate the wings and to hear sound effects and music from the Paw Patrol movie. Not suitable for under-threes.

Bitzee, £32.99

Bitzee (DreamToys/PA)

Bitzee interactive pets respond to swipes, tilts, shakes and touch with sounds and reactions. Each Bitzee starts as a baby, so kids can feed them, play with them, and rock them to sleep. There are 15 interactive animals to collect. Aimed at over-fives.


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