It’s official - Christmas is on the way.
Already one of the busiest holidays to prepare for, the excitement over a potentially pandemic-free Christmas has families thinking ahead about the celebrations. And with industry warnings over toy shortages, the race is really on to find the best toys before the festivities begin.
Luckily, there are still plenty of ways to make sure that you take home the toys everyone has been talking about this year - here are four sure-fire ways to find the best toys before the festive season.
1. Opt for a reliable retailer
Choosing a retailer that you can rely on when it comes to the Christmas countdown is essential. Not only will this decision dictate whether your toys will arrive on time but knowing you can trust a store with your purchase certainly helps to take some of the seasonal shopping stress away.
Luckily, choosing the right retailer has never been easier.
Retailers like House of Fraser (opens in new tab) have both in-store shopping and a solid online presence with a premium website that allows you to find and add to basket the toy you’re looking for, or scroll through the nation’s most-loved toys at your leisure.
With easy-to-use navigation, you can filter the type of toy you want to buy - they have everything from bikes and trikes to dolls and action figures. You can also refine your search and just look for a particular brand’s toys, a certain style or even just toys that have a great customer rating.
So whether you’re searching for the must-have Nerf Tricerablaster (opens in new tab) with its triple dart action and unique dinosaur design or the classic Travel Doll Barbie (opens in new tab), which includes a miniature travel companion and a working pink suitcase, you’re sure to find the toy you’re looking for.
2. Choose the most well-known brands
Now you have your retailer in mind and you’re scrolling away, make sure you opt for the highest quality brands. There’s a reason why Hot Wheels, Rastar and Burago come up in the list of best kids’ toys every year.
They’re the most well-made and durable ones that have stood the test of time with generations of loyal fans.
Play Doh (opens in new tab) for instance, also stocked at House of Fraser, have been keeping small ones entertained for years now with wacky and unique creation kits like the Play Doh Stylist (opens in new tab), with its eight tri-colour pots and hair accessories. While parents are safe in the knowledge that the dough is non-toxic and made for smaller hands (who like to put things in their mouth).
3. Pick toys that won’t fall out of fashion
Everyone’s worst nightmare is watching their child play with a toy for five minutes on Christmas morning, only for it to be on its way to the charity shop by Easter because the trend for it has died out.
The great thing about brands like LEGO (opens in new tab) is that they’re a real classic and the kits can be utilised in so many ways. As well as the more traditional collections, you have sets like the LEGO Dots Designer (opens in new tab). It’s a perfect example of why the brand stays so popular as kids can make, create and then re-create with the same kit as many times as they like.
Classic games like Monopoly (opens in new tab) also never stop being tonnes of fun for the whole family, with so many different themed boards to choose from. You could go for the original set or something entirely unique, like Fortnite Monopoly (opens in new tab).
4. Go for a delivery type that suits you
Delivery is, at the end of the day, one of the most important parts of buying online. It’s another reason why buying from an established retailer is so essential.
House of Fraser offers three different types in the UK alone - Click & Collect, Standard and Next Day - as well as international delivery.
It means that whether you’ve been planning your order weeks in advance or have forgotten that essential Star Wars (opens in new tab) action figure, you can get everything you need.
Grace Walsh is a Features Writer for Goodto.com, covering breaking news health stories during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as lifestyle and entertainment topics. She has worked in media since graduating from the University of Warwick in 2019 with a degree in Classical Civilisation and a year spent abroad in Italy. It was here that Grace caught the bug for journalism, after becoming involved in the university’s student newspaper and radio station.
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