I’ve already highlighted the toy Eleven Dream Toys for Christmas 2013, but that’s not the whole story my toy loving friends… oh no.
The Toy Retailers Association not only choose the top Eleven Toys of the year they choose the their top fifty. In a move away from their traditional way of organising the top toys. One that is going to put a smile on the faces of the Let Toys Be Toys Campaigners. The TRA have come up with some rather interesting new categories for the rest of the top 50 this year. It seems that Gender sorting of toys is really starting to fade away, slowly but surely.
So lets take a look at one of these categories in more depth. The first one we are going to look at is the “Granny Knows Best” category (or should that be Grandparent 😉 ??).
The 2013 Dream Toys – Granny Knows Best Top 13 Toys
I really like the idea of having this category. I really do respect toys that have a long play life or that are well-built and can be passed on. I appreciate the toy retailers want to sell more of their new stuff. As a consumer though, it is daft to be constantly buying new stuff when the old stuff is just fine.
The idea is of the 2013 Dream Toys Granny Knows Best selection of that these are toys that will stand the test of time. These Thirteen toys represent lines of toys that are not driven solely by fads or current trends, They are toys you can fully imagine a child from ten years ago and ten years in the future being happy to play with. These are toys that will be treasured for longer than a month or two.
These are toys that children will say “this is my favorite Toy”
So lets take a dive into this section and see these toys.
Baby Annabell Doll from Zapf Creation UK
Baby Annabell really is the timeless Doll. You can imagine this doll lasting a lifetime and being passed down too. I’m not surprised to see this Doll in the top 50 as it is a Doll that has always been popular with children.
Barbie Mariposa from Mattel
In the new DVD, Barbie Mariposa and the Fairy Princess, Barbie stars as Mariposa, ambassador to a faraway fairy kingdom, where she befriends the local princess. This beautiful doll captures the character and fantastical fairy look. Girls can push the button in her necklace to see her glittery, butterfly wings pop out from her dress, and then turn the button on the doll’s back to fold them into a pretty, princess dress.
Cheerin’ Minnie from Mattel
Minnie Mouse loves to cheer, especially for Mickey. Minnie fans can dance along with Minnie as she raises her pom poms in the air, cheers, sings and dances to a popular tune. Dressed in a stylish polka dot cheerleading outfit, her matching pom poms move to the beat!
City Coast Guard from LEGO Company
Head out to the lighthouse with the LEGO CITY Coast Guard Patrol – there’s a couple stranded in a sinking dinghy and three sharks are swimming nearby. Launch the submarine and helicopter from the Coast Guard Patrol boat to get there fast. Rescue the couple with the life preservers, pull them into the helicopter and scare the sharks away with the water cannons. Includes three sharks and six minifigures with accessories: pilot, captain, crew member, rescuer, man and woman.
Disney Planes Wing Control RC Dusty from Mattel
Kids can have high-flying fun recreating the action seen in Disney’s Planes with this RC vehicle that offers roleplay remote control, which means the plane moves when they do. Push the button to set the propeller spinning and move it forward, then use the two controllers one for each wing to tilt the wings and control its movement through mimicry. Sounds and phrases amp up the action for a thrilling airventure.
Fireman Sam Drive & Steer from Character Options
I love Fireman Sam the program, sadly Charlie has grown out of it now even though just a few years ago it was all he talked about. One thing we found with most of the Fireman Sam toys was that they were not all that well made. It was almost like they were made “well enough” but not “really well”. So as a result we had lots of bits broken fairly quickly. Hopefully this is a bit better than the ones we had, but reading the reviews it seems they are still a bit on the cheap and plasticky side. A real shame the toys don’t live up to what is a great childrens program. Of course kids don’t care, they have a flipping Jupiter to play with!
Friends Dolphin Cruiser from LEGO Company
I love how the LEGO Friends line of toys have progressed, like all LEGO toys they are very well thought out and because of the nature of LEGO, they are very extendable and customisable. I get that its aimed at girls, thats easy to see and it it gets more girls into LEGO then thats great but I’m not sure I like the whole Girl Boy branding here. Anyway, regardless of what I think about it, this is a great product that will just keep giving for years to come. Bung this in your children’s LEGO collection and they will be playing with it for years, building crazy models.
Littlest Pet Shop Playset from Hasbro
I have to say although this “looks” like a well made and designed toy, I just can’t see where the timelessness comes into this. I can’t see this being played with for a massive amount of time and I really don’t think it disserves to be in this list. I’m not saying its a bad toy I just think its one of the the weaker toys in this group. I expect to see loads of these down the car boot fairs in a few years time….
LOGO Billionaire from Drumond Park
The LOGO brand has been building over the last few years and although I haven’t played one of their games I’m sure they are good fun with your family. I find the concept of a game featuring brands a bit weird, its to me just a bit too Advert filled. But I have to admit as a concept it is original. For less than twenty quid its a great game to have to play with your family. Personally it’s not up there with the likes of Trivial Pursuits, but hey each to their own!
Monopoly Empire from Hasbro
Much as this looks like a good version of monopoly I’ve constantly (ok thats the wrong work) amazed at how they keep re-inventing this classic game. Personally I want the old school Monopoly. Personally I don’t like many of the brands featured in this edition of the game so I wouldn’t buy it. Should you buy, personally as I’ve said, just get the original one. This to me just smacks of a cleaver way to advertise.
Something Special: Mr Tumble Interactive Toy from Golden Bear Products
I love Mr Tumble, in fact I think Justin the man behind the spots is a great childrens entertainer. He is the sort of person you expect all childrens entertainers to be, most are never as good as he is. I remember when I first saw him, he put a smile on my face and he is great at teaching children though his playful fun. Something Special is one of his programs for children who have challenging lives. Its great for them but its also great for other children to learn that everyone is different and some people have life a bit harder than you.
This Mr Tumble toy is fantastic and I will be getting one for Rosie, definitely!
Thomas’ Adventure Castle from Mattel
Thomas just keeps on giving doesn’t he? I bet your parents played with or at least liked Tomas when they were young. I know I did and my son loved him too, he has moved on to Power Rangers now! So this set is part of the Take ‘n’ Play toys so it will fit with all the others. In-fact loads of toys from other brands will no doubt fit too. A great starter set though for any new Thomas fan.
Toot-Toot Drivers Train Station from VTech Electronics Europe
This is a nice Train Set for younger children that has loads of points of interaction. So when the trains rollover different bits they say stuff. Definitely great for helping with language skills and learning about time, will it last for more than a few years, probably not. It is compatible with other sets though so you can expand on it.
In Conclusion Does Granny Knows Best?
So there are the top thirteen toys that the Toy Retailers Association think are toys that will have a long-term appeal to children.
I think there are some great toys in this selection, I’m particularly happy to see the Mr Tumble doll as we are big fans of Mr Tumble in this house. My daughter has just discovered him as we have started to let her watch a few shows.
I’m also (of Course) happy to see two LEGO sets, IMO any LEGO will get played with over and over again, it’s the ultimate in timeless toys IMO.
So what do you think of the 2013 Dream Toys Granny Knows Best Selection?