Star Wars and Thunderbirds set to top Christmas present lists


Star Wars and Thunderbirds are set to be the must-have toys for Christmas this year, according to industry experts.

The Toy Retailers Association (TRA) said this would be a "vintage year" for toys as it released its annual DreamToys list of predicted top sellers, with three of them connected to the new Star Wars film The Force Awakens, due to hit cinemas next month.

They are the Bladebuilder Jedi Master Lightsabre by Hasbro, and Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle and the Millennium Falcon, both by Lego.

The Thunderbirds Interactive Tracy Island Playset has also made the list, alongside favourites such as the Disney Frozen Sing-a-long Elsa.

Lego's City Deep Sea Exploration Vessel is also expected to dominate Christmas lists, while Little Live Pets, Paw Patrol, Shopkins and the Vtech Toot Toot Friends toys are likely to top lists for younger children, the TRA predicts.

Rounding out the top 12 are the IDO3D Deluxe 3D Design Studio and the Pie Face family game.

The list is decided by a panel of leading toy retailers in the UK including Argos, Boots, Selfridges, Smyths Toys, The Entertainer, TK Maxx and Toys R US.

Frederique Tutt, toy industry analyst for the NPD Group, said British retailers were hoping for a record year after Disney's Frozen, Minions and Minecraft boosted sales by 6% since the start of the year.

He said: "With other licensed merchandise such as Star Wars still to come, the market could expect to grow by over £100 million at retail to reach £3.2 billion by the end of the year."

Gary Grant, chairman of the DreamToys committee, said: "2015 is going to be a vintage year for toys.

"Strong entertainment brands like Frozen, Thunderbirds and Star Wars are appearing alongside creative brands like Little Live Pets and classic evergreens such as Lego, ever more stimulating playsets for under fives such as Toot-Toot or Paw Patrol and family games like Pie Face.

"While the blockbuster licences may steal the headlines, it is exciting to see innovation throughout the list with manufacturers successfully combining this with traditional play in, for example, the IDO3D craft set, and Shopkins has become the new craze of the year, embracing all that is good about toys."