Toy caterpillar introducing infants to coding tipped as Christmas must-have


A toy caterpillar that introduces infants to coding and a doll that carries the "authentic smell of a newborn" have been tipped as must-haves under the Christmas tree this year.

A Lego City volcano, Star Wars favourite BB-8 and a selfie stick that allows youngsters to make and share their own pop videos have also made the list of predicted top toys released by retailer Argos just over six months ahead of the big day.

The Fisher Price motorised Codeapillar, priced at £49.99 and designed for three to six-year-olds, can be programmed by its youngest users to move through obstacles, while the £39.99 18 inch baby doll from Tiny Treasures is weighted like a real newborn and even smells like one, according to the manufacturer Chad Valley.

It comes in a choice of boy or girl and features "sleepy eyes, silky new-born hair, super-soft skin and an authentic scent of baby aroma".

The £19.99 SelfieMic features a karaoke microphone, ear piece and music app for those wanting to produce their own music videos, and the £120 robotic Zoomer Chimp boasts life-like movements, voice command recognition and more than 100 "tricks".

Other toys to make the top 10 are the Paw Patrol Air Patroller, the rescue dog that comes complete with his own jet, VTech's latest offering in the form of a £52.99 motorised train set designed for one to five-year-olds, and the £59.99 Nerf Modulus Tri-Strike that features "three ways to blast".

Chad Valley's Design a Friend Tiffany, a £49.99 doll for three-year-olds and older, comes with all the accessories needed for the red carpet, and the Snuggles My Dream Puppy, also costing £49.99, has a nodding head and tummy that moves when he breathes.

Argos chief toy buyer Linzi Walker said: "This year's list shows just how much toys are evolving - lots of our top toys have their roots in parents' Christmas past.

"Now they've truly moved on, with more sophisticated tech, realistic life-like functions and up-to-date pop culture references.

"We've progressed from the toy caterpillar that toddlers could pull across the floor, to one that starts infants on the road to clever coding.

"Where once there was a baby doll that simply looked like the real thing, we now have one that smells as sweet as a newborn.

"And while past festivities might have featured a karaoke machine, 2016's budding Beliebers will be making and sharing their own pop videos with a SelfieMic."