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

crowe shop
Shop class receives wonderful response from West Kootenay residents

“Each item came with its own little story which was really neat to hear.” - Dale Smyth

(File photo)
Rossland council surveys residents for input on new city plan

Rosslands Official Community Plan has run its course, and the city is nudging residents for input

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

View of the city from West Trail. Photo: Ryden Wahl
What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it large or actual-size to editor@trailtimes.ca

Summer does provide some shelter for homeless. In winter, it’s a different story. Photo: Jim Bailey
Trail RCMP offer healing approach to mental health and addictions

People living with a mental illness and substance use disorders need assistance not incarceration

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
B.C. photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

Most Read