Christmas might still be a few months away but the top Christmas toys 2021 have already been announced.
And while most of us don’t start our Christmas shopping until October at the earliest, these top toy picks are likely to fly off the shelves way before the Christmas season even gets started. You might be okay to hang on a little longer before you shop for the best advent calendars for kids – including non-chocolate advent calendars – but we reckon you’ll need to be quick to the checkout if you’re hoping to buy one of this year’s top Christmas toys.
Every year it’s the same; parents scramble to buy the latest must-have toys and popular games that every child wants for Christmas. Get it right, and your child wakes up to their top Christmas toys under the tree. Get it wrong and, well, that doesn’t really bear thinking about.
And this year, as if mums and dads needed any extra pressure, there’s talk of toy shortages impacting Christmas for kids. Between the fuel crisis, manufacturing delays, and supply chain issues, you could be forgiven for thinking that Christmas might be under threat from the Grinch himself.
What are the top toys for Christmas 2021?
Don’t worry. We’ve left no stone unturned to answer this pressing question. We’ve interviewed the experts (okay, we asked some kids…) for their recommendations for this year’s top Christmas toys. We’ve scrutinised all the retailers’ top toys lists to see what they predict the top Christmas toys will be. And we’ve done some serious homework, chatting to toy industry experts and retailers about which toys will top kids’ wish lists this Christmas.
To get the best of the best on our list, we also asked toyologist Peter Jenkinson for his expert opinion on the top toys for Christmas 2021. Peter has been writing about games and toys for the national press for more than a decade and loves testing the latest must-have toys. From LEGO to L.O.L Surprise!, these are the best Christmas toys for 2021 destined to sell out according to top brands like The Entertainer, John Lewis and Amazon.
Top Christmas toys 2021
My Squishy Little Dumplings
Age suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: 2x button cell | Price: £12.99
Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, these adorably cute interactive sensory toys have their own personalities and even speak their own language. Squeeze their squishy cheeks to activate more than 50 reactions, light features, and sounds. You can even dress them up in their zany accessories and tickle, shake or throw them.
PAW Patrol Movie Ultimate City Transforming Tower Playset
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £160
This toy brings the PAW Patrol pup’s headquarters from the television show to life. It’s a toy that’s packed with loads of amazing features for kids to discover. It includes a transformational light-up rescue ramp, command centre, vehicle lift, pup elevator, lights, sounds and so, so much more. There are also six PAW Patrol figures included, so kids can have fun as soon as they open the box!
Barbie You Can Be Anything Fresh ‘n’ Fun Food Truck Playset
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: None | Price: £54.99
Now on sale down from £54.99, this Barbie Food Truck is a great toy for Christmas. The set contains one food truck playset and over 30 accessories, so it’s a particularly good one for kids who already own plenty of Barbies and want to play with more sets. The truck has moving wheels and loads of exciting features, including a professional kitchen, where Barbie can make everything from smoothie to burgers for her customers.
Scalextric Batman vs Joker Mains Powered Slot Car Racing Set
Age suitability: 6 years+ | Batteries required: None- mains powered | Price: £128.99
This Scalextric track takes the top spot on John Lewis’ top toys list for Christmas 2021. Now available to buy online, it’s perfect for giving kids hours of entertainment over the Christmas period. The set comes with the Joker’s car, a green-roofed mobile with a purple body and wide grin, and Batman’s car, in the classically cool black. But what sets this toy apart from other Scalextric sets is that it comes with two Spark Plug Dongles, allowing you to race the cars using an Android or IOS device.
Now that films are hitting the big screen once again, toy expert Peter Jenkinson predicts that Top Gun and James Bond toys are likely to be on many kids’ wish lists this Christmas. If you know a movie fan who might have their eye on the James Bond 007 Scalextric set, it’s also worth snapping it up sooner rather than later.
LEGO Elf Clubhouse
Age suitability: 11 years+ | Batteries required: 1 x Included | Price: £84.99
Of course, LEGO made it onto John’s Lewis top picks of the year! This Elf Clubhouse is ideal for Christmas-lovers who also enjoy a challenge as the set comes with 1197 LEGO bricks. Packed with seasonal details like LEGO waffles, presents, and Santa’s sleigh, it’s a real seasonal treat and guaranteed to keep youngsters occupied – at least for a while – on Christmas morning.
Age suitability: 5 years+ | Batteries required: Yes, included | Price: £69.99
You know how every year there’s a top Christmas toy which every kid wants? Our prediction is that Magic Mixies are this year’s must-have new toy. Our consumer editor, Heidi Scrimgeour, was invited along when Stephen Mulhern hosted the official launch of Magic Mixies, and she’s already got one on order. ‘What makes this toy special is that it comes with everything you need to mix a magic potion and bring your very own cute cuddly friend to life,’ she says. ‘The cauldron, spellbook, wand, and Mixie figure are all included, along with lots of cute accessories to add special features to your creature. And you can buy a magic cauldron refill pack, so it’s a toy that won’t lose its appeal after its first use.’
‘Magic Mixies is such a superb evolution in the unboxing trend and these interactive toys are sure to sell out at speed once they go on sale on October 1st,’ says toy expert Peter Jenkinson. You heard it here first – pre-order yours now to avoid disappointment.
Bluey Family Home Playset
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £39.99
If your kids love the TV show Bluey, they’ll love this Family Home playset. It includes two beds, two stools, two sofas, rugs, a bath, toilet, dining room counter, and a fridge. Big in both size and variety of included features, this great playset also has moulded details with opening doors.
‘Bluey has to be one of the best kids’ TV shows ever made,’ says our consumer editor, Heidi Scrimgeour. ‘It’s one of the few shows that I actually enjoy watching as much as my daughter does, and the playset has really cemented her love of Bandit, Bluey, Chilli, and Bingo.’
Bluey Family & Friends 8 Figure Pack
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £24.99
To go with the family home playset, you can pick up these Bluey family and friends figurines for under £30. They’re perfect for recreating kids’ favourite moments from the TV show as the set includes Bluey, Bingo, Chilli (Mum), and Dad (Bandit), along with four of Bluey and Bingo’s friends – Coco, Snickers, Rusty and Muffin.
John Lewis FSC Wooden Waitrose Supermarket
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £49
This miniature-sized Waitrose supermarket is super cute. It features individual shelves for toy food, a Waitrose logo and even scales so kids can practice weighing out their fruit and veg. There’s no doubt that this mini Waitrose would offer hours of fun for kids, being able to shop from the comfort of their own bedroom.
Kaloo My First Doll
Age suitability: 0 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £19.99
Ideal for newborns to toddlers, Kaloo’s My First Doll is the perfect soft toy for younger children. Complete with a beautiful dress and other soft accessories, we reckon this doll will be a favourite with little ones for years to come.
Pets Alive Poppy The Booty Shakin’Pug by ZURU
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: Yes, included | Price: £25
This dancing pet is so much fun for kids! There are three songs included and Poppy moves and grooves to every one of them. If your child has ever wanted a pet dog and a puppy isn’t on the Christmas list for this year, why not go for a dancing pug they can take everywhere with them?
GraviTrax Pro Starter Extreme
Age suitability: 8+ years | Batteries required: No | Price: £89.99
This STEM toy is so good, it made John Lewis’ must-buy list before it was even released! The GraviTrax Pro Starter Extreme includes loads of special components to help children build their very own action-packed marble run.
L.O.L Surprise! Tweens Fashion Doll
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £21
Another new addition to the series that’s made the pick of top Christmas toys for 2021, this L.O.L Surprise set comes with a 6″ fashion doll along with shoes and other exciting accessories. The packaging also turns into a reusable playset for kids to enjoy once they’ve unboxed the doll.
Bing Bath Time Boat
Age suitability: 12 months+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £20
A fab Bing Bunny toy – but kids can take this one into the bath! Just like Bing’s boat on TV, kids can wind this toy up and watch the boat move through the water. It also has a spray feature and squirter in the cabin for even more bath time fun.
Bing’s House Playset
Age suitability: 12 months+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £44.99
If playsets are more your child’s thing, go for Bing’s house playset! As well as the house and features from the CBBC show, there are two characters included and nine different accessories. But don’t worry, this set is made in bright, chunky, and hard-wearing plastic so it’s suitable for anyone over 12 months old.
Paw Patrol Figure and Vehicle – Rubble and Bulldozer
Age suitability: 3 – 5 years | Batteries required: None | Price: £12
This Paw Patrol toy is a must-have for fans of the show! It contains a Paw Patrol-themed bulldozer toy and a Rubble, the construction puppy, figure. Each element of the set has its own authentic detailing and true-to-programme features.
Ty Squish-a-Boos Soft Toy
Age suitability: 0 months+| Batteries required: None | Price: £7
Kids love Ty toys for their extra-soft coats, brilliant colours and unique eyes. They’re also great to cuddle up with and this toy is set to be one of the favourites for Christmas 2021 as it’s so squishable and comes in two different sizes: 24cm (for £7) and 35cm (for £14). It also has the iconic Ty heart tag and a special poem to help kids learn more about their new friend.
Cats vs Pickles 4″ Soft Toy 2pk – Super Cat & Astro-cat
Age suitability: 4 years+ | Batteries required: None | Price: £10
These super soft, bean filled plush toys come straight from the world of Cats vs. Pickles! Cats are scared of pickles but pickles just want love, as the video game goes. Based on the hilarious videos shared online of cats’ reaction to pickles, these cute characters are based on the game. As they come in packs of two, they’re great for kids to take everywhere with them. They make great homework buddies, travel companions and comfort pets.
Raya and The Last Dragon Doll
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £22.99
The film may only have come out this year but Disney’s Raya and The Last Dragon is already a huge hit. This Raya toy plays music if you lift her arm up and the Kumandra Flower lights up too.
Age suitability: 9 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £15.99
Run, jump and stomp on this launcher to send the rocket up to 400 feet in the air! A stomp rocket is a classic kids’ toy, perfect for playing in the back garden and a great present for under £20.
Our consumer editor was sent one of these to review and has nothing but praise for this simple but brilliant toy. ‘We took the Stomp Rocket to the park after school and ended up with a queue of kids begging to have a go with it,’ she says. ‘The parents were enthralled too – they’ve all been asking were to buy one and we’ll definitely be adding a few of these to our pressie cupboard.’
AirBrush Plush Unicorn
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £19.99
This innovative new toy will appeal to youngsters with a flair for art and design, as well as to those with a love of all things unicorn. You can style your own cute plushie unicorn however you like, using the colourful spray and stencils provided. Stick one of the 100+ stencils to your unicorn and then choose from four coloured markers, and use the Airbrush tool to spray directly onto the plushie’s fur or through the stencil to create wonderful patterns and designs. Best of all, you can wash off your design using a damp cloth and start all over again!
Harry Potter Games Compendium
Age suitability: 9 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £59.99
Everyone needs a game to play on Boxing Day and this Harry Potter games compendium is just the thing. The set includes classics like Pictionary and Scrabble, all themed around the famous books and films. Brush up on your Harry Potter knowledge and get ready to play.
Tonies Soft Cuddly Friends – Hoppie Rabbit Audio Play
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £29.99
This Tonies Soft Cuddly Friends Rabbit is the perfect gift for younger kids as it’s a soft and cuddly toy rabbit complete with adorable features – but also comes with audio play.
Secret Garden book
Age suitability: 5 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £12
Sometimes classics are classics for a reason! Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote The Secret Garden back in 1911 and it tells the story of a young girl who comes from India to the Yorkshire moors and discovers a beautiful garden. This book is a great stocking-filler, complete with unique illustrations.
Age suitability: All ages | Batteries required: No | Price: £16.99
Night lights have really stepped up their game in recent years. This moon lamp is a stunning bedroom accessory as it comes with 16 different colour combinations – perfect for brightening up dark, wintry bedtimes.
LEGO Duplo My First Number Train
Age suitability: 11 months+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £11.99
Much like John Lewis, Amazon has added a child’s First Train Set to their must-have toy list for Christmas 2021. It’s a good way to introduce your kids to numbers and this set also comes with three LEGO Duplo figures, so it’s fun as well as educational.
Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog
Age suitability: 2 years + | Batteries required: No | Price: £16.00
Spike is one of the best early years toys on Amazon’s top Christmas toys list this year. The peg play toy is brilliant for encouraging children to create patterns from a young age as they have to match and sort Spike’s different quills by recognising shapes and colours. Educational and fun, this toy helps to build both maths and motor skills.
Interactive Alphabet Wall Chart
Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £17.99
Not only will this colourful design brighten up kids’ bedrooms, but it will also help them learn letters and numbers. It’s a double-sided poster with shapes, colours, and word-association games as well as spelling and phonics games. The poster presents words using exciting examples while the quiz feature offers encouragement and feedback.
Wooden Stacking Dinosaur Toy
Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £8.69
Dinosaur fans will love this wooden stacking toy! They can either play with the pieces separately, marching the T-Rex across the living room floor, or try their hand at stacking the dinosaurs together. Suitable for any little one over 3 years, it provides hours of fun for kids up to 8 years old.
Thomas & Friends Race and Chase
Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £30
This Fisher-Price toy is definitely one for kids who love Thomas the Tank Engine. It’s all the fun of two toys with one controller, since Thomas is joined to Percy through the plume of smoke. The toy also makes realistic train sounds and repeats fun Thomas & Friends character phrases.
Fisher-Price Rattle and Rock Maracas
Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £11.55
What to buy your baby at Christmas? Babies will love this fun set of maracas! The bright colours will help stimulate developing brains and it’s perfectly sized for little hands. You’re never too young to start rocking around the Christmas tree.
Pop Fidget Sensory Toy
Age suitability: 3 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £5.99
These fidget sensory toys are everywhere this year! Kids can’t seem to get enough of them – and Amazon is selling two for just £5.99 – much cheaper than most other places we’ve seen. Fidget toys make the perfect stocking filler so snap up a bargain!
Space Jam Basketball Playset with LeBron James
Age suitability: 5 years+ | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £14.99
Kids will have hours of fun with this unique basketball game as they try and get LeBron’s figure as close to the hoop as possible.
Crayola Light-Up Tracing
Age suitability: 5 years+ | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £26.27
This toy gives kids everything they need to bring their creative visions to life, including the colouring board which lights up, special pencils, and paper.
Hasbro Connect 4 Game
Age suitability: 6 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £11.99
As we’ve said before, sometimes simple is best! This Hasbro Connect 4 game is an absolute classic. As well as teaching kids basic maths skills, it helps them think strategically and come up with plans in advance during the game.
Playmonster Snap Ships
Age suitability: 8 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £19.13
There are three so-called ‘drones’ in this set, picked as one of the top Christmas toys for 2021. Kids can play with them individually or put them together to make one huge drone. Each one has unique features too, so getting them to battle against each other is the perfect Christmas morning activity for siblings.
Ravensburger Upside Down Challenge Game
Age suitability: 7 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £25
Discover what the world looks like upside down! Put on the goggles and experience how normally easy games suddenly turn into a huge challenge. It’s a great game to play with both adults and kids with over 100 drawing and activity challenges included in the game.
‘Family games will prove strong this year as we’re all hoping to get together for Christmas, and my favourite family game has to be Upside Down Challenge,’ adds toy expert Peter Jenkinson. ‘It’s downright daft.’
That sounds like our kind of family game!
Build Your Own Mini Build (Honey Bee)
Age suitability: 5 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £9.99
For a smaller present or crafty stocking filler, go for a Build Your Own. We’ve settled on the Honey Bee as a favourite, but there are all sorts of critters like ladybirds, stag beetles, and dragonflies to build. These are loads of fun and easy to build, making them one of the best presents under £10 on our top toys for Christmas list.
Waboba Extreme Water Bouncing Ball
Age suitability: 7 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £6.80
This ball is the perfect present for your next trip to the pool as it works on water! Ideal for bouncing, skimming, and throwing around. It’s also compact and lightweight so whether you’re carrying it in a rucksack or a suitcase, it won’t take up much room.
LEGO Jurassic World75942 Velociraptor: Biplane Dinosaur Rescue Mission
Age suitability: 4 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £24.99
Kids over four years old can create a whole rescue mission with this biplane toy and build their own action-packed LEGO Jurassic World dinosaur playset. The set includes a moveable Velociraptor and Delta baby raptor figurine, a treetop observation outpost with a nest for the dinos, an off-road vehicle, plus loads of other fun accessories to help kids’ imaginations run wild.
LEGO DUPLO Disney Princess Frozen Ice Castle Toy Set
Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £45
This LEGO set from the Disney film Frozen includes a slide, transparent ‘ice’ cubes for bricks, along with chairs, a table, and kitchen equipment. Princess Elsa, Anna, and Olaf the Snowman, along with their stunning outfits, are also included. While a special button-operated light brick offers multicoloured lights up the castle.
Vtech Drill And Learn Toolbox
Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £31.87
This toddler-friendly toolbox is one of our best toys for Christmas 2021! It’s perfect for stimulating creativity and getting involved in role-play, with an electronic fix-it tray, working toy drill, hammer, wrench, nails, and screws included in the set. The drill even comes with spinning gears for drilling screws into the electronic tray’s holes. Kids can also press the buttons for fun songs and lessons about the variety of tools included in their set.
LeapFrog LeapReader Learn to Read Megapack
Age suitability: 4 years+ | Batteries required: Yes, included | Price: £49.99
Help children learn to read over Christmas with this exciting megapack of stories! Included is a LeapReader pen to help readers sound out the letters and words in the interactive stories and activities. They can also listen to character’s voices, music, and sound effects or they can follow along with the stories as they’re read out loud. Activities like these aren’t only really fun for kids but help build confidence by helping them sound out vowels, sight words, blending, spelling, and more.
LeapFrog 2 in 1 Count Along Basket and Smart Scanner
Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries required: No | Price: £34
We had to put this 2-in-1 toy on our list of top Christmas toys for 2021! The Shopping Basket and Smart Scanner introduce kids to food, colours, and shapes all at the same time. There are eight fun role playing foods included in the set, ready to be scanned with the magic scanner, and three fun games to help kids get to grips with counting and role-playing.
CoComelon 10 inch Bedtime JJ Doll
Age suitability: 2 years+ | Batteries required: Yes, included | Price: £27.99
This soft toy is inspired by JJ, one of the popular characters from the CoComelon educational YouTube series. JJ is ready to go to bed in his iconic onesie, holding his teddy bear pillow toy. It’s the perfect toy for fans of the show as it comes with many different sounds and phrases.
What is the most popular Christmas toy this year?
The Toy Retailers Association will release their round-up of the top Christmas toys 2021 on November 3, the organisation has announced.
The association, which acts as the ‘voice for Toy Retailers in the UK and Ireland’, draws up the list every year from a panel of judges and industry experts. It’s not influenced by toy manufacturers or makers and so represents what the experts believe to be the must-have toys across the UK this Christmas.
Last year, the top 12 list was dominated by the big classic toy brands and licenses that have entertained children for generations. This includes Barbie, Monopoly, Harry Potter, LEGO and Star Wars, as well as popular characters from Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Pokémon, and L.O.L Surprise.
Our own roundup of the top toys for Christmas 2021 includes a mixture of brand new toys, like Magic Mixies and Airbrush Plus Unicorn, along with some classic toys like Scalextric and LEGO, plus toys featuring popular TV characters like Bing and Bluey.