Lori Heppner and Matthew Purdy share the top toys this holiday season. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: These are the top toys this Christmas, B.C. toy experts say

Consider the play value of a game, staff at Toy Traders say

The anticipation of opening presents on Christmas morning for both the gift giver and the receiver is like no other. The gift has been sitting under the tree possibly for weeks, the shape of the package alluding to its contents. The reaction of the recipient after they’ve torn off the wrapping will say it all – so how does one make sure the gift is a winner?

Local experts Matthew Purdy and Lori Heppner at Toy Traders and Collectibles in Langley give their take

Each year media drive sales, but don’t be fooled by a trend when purchasing a toy, said Matthew Purdy owner of the local store. The thing to consider about the toy is its play value.

“People are going back to traditional classic toys, and people are steering away from electronic toys, or electronic only toys because you don’t get the play value, maybe an hour on Christmas morning and that’s it; people are learning that now,” he explained.

Classic toys include wooden games, and they’re making a comeback.

Hape brand wooden train sets are a popular choice this holiday season, according to Heppner, team leader. The train sets appeal to a broad age range between 18 months up to five years and use soy-based paint.

Years ago there were issues were certain toys using lead-based paint, according to Purdy. Toys are now tested and regulated by the industry.

Toy kitchen gadgets and food have also spiked in popularity.

A brand that has been around for nearly half a century recently made its debut on the big screen, and the box office sales are having an impact on the toy company’s bottom line.

“Playmobil is now a huge, huge line and Playmobil learned from LEGO a few years ago how a movie helps drives sales” said Purdy. “Now the movie ties into all kinds of different things, much like the toy line, where there [are] Romans and Pirates and Knights, so it’s taking all the different kind of themes Playmobil has – Playmobil even has hockey.”

The European company has reinvented its classic figurine through the years in a variety of different play themes maintaining its relevancy.

A popular choice in Langley is Playmobil’s Spirit line, a high-quality toy, which is centred all around horses, Purdy said. Other themes in the line include fairies, sports teams, dinosaurs and emergency services.

Staying with the theme of miniature figures, Calico Critters is a line of animal families with homes, furniture and accessories. The line is a play-off of the once popular Fisher Price line of little figurine animals.

The Critters are getting a lot of traffic and are a “big deal”, according Purdy.

“So you get the house, you buy the furniture you design the house you way you want, and you pick the family you like,” he said.

Animal families available are pandas, elephants, chipmunks, rabbits and kangaroos – just to name a few.

The company responsible for the Beanie Babies craze is back with with their latest plush, Beanie Boos.

“They have the large eyes, sparkly eyes. They come in different sizes. They’ve got ones for your backpack [and] they’ve got families you can make,” Heppner said.

Ty’s latest plush comes at an affordable price point ranging between $4 to $8, she added.

Another toy that constantly tops the charts year after year will likely garner a positive reaction on Christmas morning.

“Every year LEGO is huge,” said Purdy.

LEGO is available in many themes like Star Wars and Harry Potter, but Purdy believes the best value lies in bulk Lego.

An added feature to Lego’s Hidden Side kit is an interactive component.

“Hidden works with your kids phone, so it comes alive on their phone as well as their Lego they’re playing with in hand,” Heppner explained.

Shoppers moving away from classic brands and more towards classic gifts can look to baby dolls and educational games.

“Board games are very popular especially at this time of year because people are trying to bring their family together… and there’s a lot of games for all ages,” Purdy said.

The experts recommend strategy game Catan is a good choice for kids once they have outgrown Monopoly.

“So that’s when you bring in the more mature games, the more interesting games,” Purdy added.

Finally, for those waiting the mention of “Baby Yoda,” the toy is definitely a chart topper this season, but no one should expect to be getting their hands on one this month.

The new character introduced in a Star Wars series The Mandalorian on Disney+ was an instant hit, but no dolls were made prior to the premiere of the show for fear of the character being leaked, according to Purdy.

Baby Yoda is in production, but won’t be available until the new year, Purdy said.

Toy Traders is taking pre-orders to ensure fans of the character have a doll reserved when they hit the shelves.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Music coffee house returns to Metchosin with new name

Java Jive Coffee House takes place on Jan. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m.

New Sooke education academy focuses on environment, community

Program still requires school board approval

‘Bureaucratic mix-up’ could lead to Sooke daycare closure

Sooke CAO confident daycare situation can be resolved

‘Clever’ 90-year-old Saanich resident evades vitamin phone scammer

Police warn of phone scammers claiming to be from the Regional Health Authority

Sooke launches Hockeyville bid

Up for grabs: $250,000 in arena upgrades and an NHL game

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Father to B.C.’s first MLB hall-of-famer is one proud dad

Larry Walker Sr. talks baseball background and son’s base running gaffe

Most Read