Lori Heppner and Matthew Purdy share the top toys this holiday season. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)

Lori Heppner and Matthew Purdy share the top toys this holiday season. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: These are the top toys this Christmas, B.C. toy experts say

Consider the play value of a game, staff at Toy Traders say

The anticipation of opening presents on Christmas morning for both the gift giver and the receiver is like no other. The gift has been sitting under the tree possibly for weeks, the shape of the package alluding to its contents. The reaction of the recipient after they’ve torn off the wrapping will say it all – so how does one make sure the gift is a winner?

Local experts Matthew Purdy and Lori Heppner at Toy Traders and Collectibles in Langley give their take

Each year media drive sales, but don’t be fooled by a trend when purchasing a toy, said Matthew Purdy owner of the local store. The thing to consider about the toy is its play value.

“People are going back to traditional classic toys, and people are steering away from electronic toys, or electronic only toys because you don’t get the play value, maybe an hour on Christmas morning and that’s it; people are learning that now,” he explained.

Classic toys include wooden games, and they’re making a comeback.

Hape brand wooden train sets are a popular choice this holiday season, according to Heppner, team leader. The train sets appeal to a broad age range between 18 months up to five years and use soy-based paint.

Years ago there were issues were certain toys using lead-based paint, according to Purdy. Toys are now tested and regulated by the industry.

Toy kitchen gadgets and food have also spiked in popularity.

A brand that has been around for nearly half a century recently made its debut on the big screen, and the box office sales are having an impact on the toy company’s bottom line.

“Playmobil is now a huge, huge line and Playmobil learned from LEGO a few years ago how a movie helps drives sales” said Purdy. “Now the movie ties into all kinds of different things, much like the toy line, where there [are] Romans and Pirates and Knights, so it’s taking all the different kind of themes Playmobil has – Playmobil even has hockey.”

The European company has reinvented its classic figurine through the years in a variety of different play themes maintaining its relevancy.

A popular choice in Langley is Playmobil’s Spirit line, a high-quality toy, which is centred all around horses, Purdy said. Other themes in the line include fairies, sports teams, dinosaurs and emergency services.

Staying with the theme of miniature figures, Calico Critters is a line of animal families with homes, furniture and accessories. The line is a play-off of the once popular Fisher Price line of little figurine animals.

The Critters are getting a lot of traffic and are a “big deal”, according Purdy.

“So you get the house, you buy the furniture you design the house you way you want, and you pick the family you like,” he said.

Animal families available are pandas, elephants, chipmunks, rabbits and kangaroos – just to name a few.

The company responsible for the Beanie Babies craze is back with with their latest plush, Beanie Boos.

“They have the large eyes, sparkly eyes. They come in different sizes. They’ve got ones for your backpack [and] they’ve got families you can make,” Heppner said.

Ty’s latest plush comes at an affordable price point ranging between $4 to $8, she added.

Another toy that constantly tops the charts year after year will likely garner a positive reaction on Christmas morning.

“Every year LEGO is huge,” said Purdy.

LEGO is available in many themes like Star Wars and Harry Potter, but Purdy believes the best value lies in bulk Lego.

An added feature to Lego’s Hidden Side kit is an interactive component.

“Hidden works with your kids phone, so it comes alive on their phone as well as their Lego they’re playing with in hand,” Heppner explained.

Shoppers moving away from classic brands and more towards classic gifts can look to baby dolls and educational games.

“Board games are very popular especially at this time of year because people are trying to bring their family together… and there’s a lot of games for all ages,” Purdy said.

The experts recommend strategy game Catan is a good choice for kids once they have outgrown Monopoly.

“So that’s when you bring in the more mature games, the more interesting games,” Purdy added.

Finally, for those waiting the mention of “Baby Yoda,” the toy is definitely a chart topper this season, but no one should expect to be getting their hands on one this month.

The new character introduced in a Star Wars series The Mandalorian on Disney+ was an instant hit, but no dolls were made prior to the premiere of the show for fear of the character being leaked, according to Purdy.

Baby Yoda is in production, but won’t be available until the new year, Purdy said.

Toy Traders is taking pre-orders to ensure fans of the character have a doll reserved when they hit the shelves.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pnina Benyamini strikes a yoga pose. (Photo submitted)
Many facets to energetic woman’s legacy

Benyamini taught yoga, belly dancing and more to an adoring public

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

Island Health’s acting medical health officer for the central Island says schools are very safe, even after COVID-19 exposure at five schools in Nanaimo-Ladysmith this month. (File photo)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Qualicum superintendents ask Island Health about COVID-19 safety at schools

Central Island medical health officer answers questions parents have been asking

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have ruled out fouled play in the death of a woman in Chemainus. (Black Press file photo)
No foul play in death of woman in Chemainus

Police officers make determination after an investigation

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Product Care offers more than <a href="http://link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com/ls/click?upn=pDYyTceU0YgTDdsd92GohdQJsmSiPFEkcB4MdMM0Qkoqb1aJA-2By5aWklKJXV6QRdyTteNjr2FccUOVLUe4t5Zw-3D-3D1ds-_KVyBcpjXADXifSWVpM8nQcAzSm9-2B6fEFnjVrTsOcu31irDHDxi5k0QTOIWCqMXUxaNbrf0yRzXSSpROCkfx3NkUtbr65Dkcw1J0by-2F-2BDdDiJGbcfhtjHWYSs66NwakeCCLYkj20e9ICIZsLcedqNZKBhsN0sGgBsInpdzsddYikUZkmQvFdxLJhakpgAA6aAJ5ScUoWR6vO9sM819vRB-2F6x7dsdfIaWa4ZgHxR4G7hauxgSJCsNI2bP5J62EFfM0aiDqRPwUPUjt7i5-2FMqpdJxrEBewnLky-2B3lE0JAmi5UsJBkJejuLOjsndZz4b7dNgbvt6KyewKuF0sxU2rpYgkAO9YAKc9STuFJd28Qn7jE0-2FqlB8HKOvpW150NHS-2BOMBcK5rkZ8YAuPqJy11k-2BgndiKB-2FWl2icAfbWtRGJPb8fM-3D" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (Pixabay.com)
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Helen Watson, posing for a photo for her 100th birthday, turned 105 on Saturday (Nov. 21). (File photo)
B.C. woman who survived Spanish Flu turns 105

Helen Watson has packed a lot into life – including being in two pandemics

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before B.C. teen’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Most Read