Top Christmas toys and discounts
We may only just be thinking about Halloween costumes and Bonfire Night, but in toy land it’s already all about Christmas.
The dream toys tipped to fly off the shelves this year have been revealed by the Toy Retailers Association, but parents needn’t worry too much, as they all cost less than £50.
The ‘dream dozen’ list has a retro theme this year, with new versions of Monopoly and Lego. It is also is largely influenced by TV and movie tie-ins with Transformer figures and Princess Peppa both putting in appearances.
Gary Grant, chairman of the Toy Retailers Association, says: “The list reveals a trend towards nostalgic characters and brands which have been updated with a modern twist. Consumers are reverting back to heritage brands, which will last longer than the Christmas season.
“With licensed toys combining the fun and familiarity of popular characters as well as collectable, pocket money-priced toys making a big comeback this year, we are in for an affordable, family orientated Christmas.”
|Top toys for Christmas 2009|
|Princess Peppa's Palace||Character Options, RRP £39.99|
|Bakugan Battle Pack||Spin Master, RRP £19.99|
|Battle Strikers Starter Set||Mega Brands, RRP £9.99|
|Ben 10 Alien Force Kevin's DX Action Cruiser||Bandai, RRP £29.99|
|Bendaroos Mega Pack||Spin Master, RRP £19.99|
|GX Racers Tightrope Terror||Flair, RRP £22.99|
|Go Go Pets Hamsters||Character Options, RRP £9.99|
|Lego Games Minotaurus||Lego, RRP £17.99|
|Sylvanian Families Caravan||Flair, RRP £44.99|
|Monopoly City||Hasbro, RRP £24.99|
|Transformers Movie 2 Voyagers Figures||Hasbro, RRP £22.99|
|Kidizoom Multimedia Digital Camera||V-Tech, RRP £49.99|
The average price of this year’s top 12 toys has dropped £6 from last year. This compares to the Hamleys Christmas Wishlist announced earlier in the year, which included a £1,500 model Lamborghini Murcielago LP640, encrusted with more than 7,600 Swarovski crystals.
It also included the more budget-friendly Rubik’s 360 (£15) – from the company that brought us the Rubik’s Cube around 30 years ago.
Barbie is expected to be on many little girls Christmas lists this year, as her 50th anniversary is being celebrated with a new line of Barbie Dreamdolls.
As is the case every year, parents are being advised to head to the shops early to avoid disappointment, but starting your Christmas shopping soon can also help to ease the pressure on your bank balance.
It may only be October, but it helps to spread the cost over two or three pay periods rather than taking the hit all at once in December.
The high street and online stores are already gearing up for the festive period, with retailers such as Tesco Direct, Toys R Us and Early Learning Centre offering great deals, such as half price on certain toys and free delivery.
Meanwhile, Woolworths.co.uk currently has a toy sale on, with up to 25% off purchases, while Argo is offering two toys for £15 on more than 100 lines.
You can also hunt out cheaper toys online; gift retailer Prezzybox.com, for example, includes a section of presents for under £20.
You can also download free discount vouchers online. The top toy codes currently on offer at MyVoucherCodes.co.uk include 15% off Peppa Pig, Roary the Racing Car and Fifi and the Flowertots. It also has vouchers for retailers such as arts and crafts supplier Yellow Moon and World of Bears.
Investors who borrow money they use for investment and use the securities they buy as collateral for the loan are said to be “gearing up” the portfolio (in the US, gearing is referred to as “leveraging”) and widely used by investment trusts. The greater the gearing as a proportion of the overall portfolio, the greater the potential for profit or loss. If markets rise in value, the investor can pay back the loan and retain the profit but if markets fall, the investor may not be able to cover the borrowing and interest costs, and will make a loss. Also used to describe the ratio of a company’s borrowing in relation to its market capitalisation and the gearing ratio measures the extent to which a company is funded by debt. A company with high gearing is more vulnerable to downturns in the business cycle because the company must continue to service its debt regardless of how bad sales are.