It may be too early to start ironing the tinsel and polishing the baubles, but with Autumn comes the inevitable onset of shops and department stores stocking up for Christmas. Knowing what's going to be the toy du jour is as important for any parent as knowing Santa's postal address. Since a well chosen "off list" gift can do much to heighten the thrill of Christmas Day it important to know what's available this year that will tick all the boxes and propel your child to the top of the playground toy league. Hamley's published their list way back in the June but just in case you missed the fanfare here is a taste of what you can expect to find inside the most savvy of stockings.
No.1 Ninjago Fire Temple.
Yep, its Lego with a Ninja twist. The back story is one of warring states, with Sensei Wu, Kai, Zane and Nya, all set on repelling the evil warlord Lord Garmadon and his skeleton army. When attacked the temple splits in two and the fearsome fire spitting Dragon emerges to protect the sacred Spinjitzu Dragon sword of Fire. There are 1174 pieces in the set, enough to occupy an eight year old well into the New Year.
No.2 Kidizoom Twist.
One of Hamley's must have toys, the Kiddizoom Twist is a 2mega pixel digital camera with built in voice modification gadget, rotatable lens, built in flash, colour screen and five built-in games. It will have all the adults cooing and grandpa reminiscing about his old box brownie. This toy will be guarded jealously.
No. 3 Fijit Friends.
These little cuties are soft, interactive, voice responsive and very jiggley. They are something of a phenomenon already and will entertain and amuse your child for as long as the battery lasts. They can dance, emote, and respond to 30 vocal commands with over 150 verbal responses. Poke them in the tummy and wait to see what happens.
N0.4 Zhu Zhu Puppies.
Yep, last years hamsters have been genetically modified and are now dogs. These will go quicker than box of bonios at a pet rescue centre. The Bark Park accessory adds that little extra without the need to scoop, bag and bin.
No.5 iBall 3
It's Simon, the pattern recognition game of the 80's, redesigned and updated for the ipod/pad/phone generation. Upload your score to a global database and try to be grand master of the entire world.