Hamleys has predicted well-made toys “that can be handed down” will fly off the shelves this Christmas, as it unveiled its anticipated bestsellers for 2022 – including a Buzz Lightyear with “real” jetpack vapour trail and a roller skating Peppa Pig.
With Britons struggling with rising living costs, the toy chain’s head of buying forecast that shoppers would seek out familiar brands, with its annual top 10 filled with established names including Play-Doh, Peppa Pig and Barbie.
“This year it is all about good quality classic toys that can be handed down,” said Victoria Kay. “We are confident that by selecting these products, parents will be making a wise investment in gifts that will be played with well into the future.”
The most expensive toy in the top 10 this year is a £100 Play-Doh ice-cream van playset with “realistic” soft serve machine. Last year’s list included a Barbie Dreamhouse that cost £310. The cheapest item is a £22 Hamleys teddy bear.
“We’re aware this year that parents will be looking for a variety of toys within a variety of price brackets, to make Christmas as magical as they can,” said Kay. “We’ve got a range of over 20,000 products in our stores with our prices starting from £2 .”
After starring in his own spin-off movie this year, Buzz Lightyear action figures are hot property again. At a£60, the action figure boasts a “fusion canister” that is filled with water, enabling the space ranger’s jetpack to emit a vapour trail when he blasts off “to infinity and beyond”.
Despite the turbulent economic picture, Kay said sales had been strong over the summer at the chain, known for its flagship store on Regent Street in the West End of London. “I’m not seeing that people are particularly buying any earlier,” she added. “It feels more like we’ve gone back to the vibe of how we were in 2019.
“We’re getting that build up to October half-term and from now on we just see strengthening footfall. Regent Street has been very busy. We had the sad events of last week but what it’s meant for London is there’s an awful lot of tourism so footfall has been very high.”
XShot Skins the Last Stand – blaster with rotating barrel and 27-metre range (£35)
Play-Doh Ice Cream Truck – toy food truck with soft serve machine (£100)
Roller Disco Peppa – figure that moves, plays music and giggles (£37)
CoComelon Boo Boo JJ – doll with bandages (for boo boos) (£44)
One Trick Pony – game (£27)
Lightyear JetPack Buzz – space ranger with “real” vapour trail (£60)
Barbie Cutie Reveal – unboxing doll including surprise items (£33)
Hamley Bear Panda – classic teddy bear (£22)
Tick Tock Brick Knock – stacking tower game (£34)
Jumping Sumo – remote-control car with top speed of 15mph (£70)