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Toys - a UK buyer's guide plus toy history. See also page 2, page 3 and board games.

Otherland Toys
- The most innovative and hard to get toys. Included in their current range are remote control vehicles and a cyber dog. Free UK mainland delivery.

Toys - Best Sellers for Christmas 2009

Every year there are some toys that sell really well over the Christmas season. Here is our prediction of a few toys that every child will want this Christmas:

  1. Rubik's cube - Yes, I know it's an old one. But like mini skirts the Rubik's cube is now back in fashion as the most sort after puzzle for Christmas 2008.
  2. Bandai Ben 10 Deluxe Omnitrix - this is the most powerful Omnitrix packed with lights and aliens on its LCD screen. What more could any child ask for? It's currently retailing at Amazon for £13.99.
  3. Doctor Who sonic screwdriver - just what your child needs this Christmas to save the universe from the Daleks - or alternatively pretend fix your car.
  4. Top Trumps - another oldie makes a comeback. Priced at just £2.92, they make a great stocking filler.

If your budget is a little bigger, here are some sure fire winners for Christmas:

  1. Lego Mindstorms - Build and program robots for hours of educational fun.
  2. VTech Kidizoom Multimedia Digital Camera (Pink) - Sturdily built so children can take photos and play them back on the TV or print them from the computer.
  3. Cozy Couper Anniversary EditionLittle Tikes Anniversary Edition Cozy Coupe Ride-on - an updated look for the world's favourite toddler car.
  4. Wonderworld Wooden Rainbow Sound Blocks - A great toy for babies, consisting of 6 wooden blocks with translucent coloured side panels that each make a different sound when shaken

Toys and Their History

In our modern world, toys are taken for granted by children and parents alike, especially on special occasions such as birthday or Christmas. However, it can be interesting to take a little look back in time to have a look at the origins of some of our favourite or mainstay toys, and see just how they've evolved over the years.

 




BigRedWarehouse
- Character toys, clothing and outdoor featuring Ben 10, Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Doctor Who, Fifi and the Flowertots and many more.

Amazon
- Toys galore are available, including Barbie, Thomas the Tank, Thunderbirds, Lego and more.
Argos
- A huge range of great value toys from Argos online. Check out the web exclusive price cuts with delivery costing £5.95 no matter how much you order.

Kiddies Kingdom
- Superb range of discounted ride-on toys including pedal and electric cars, quad bikes and tractors for children aged between 3 and 10.
ToysGamesGifts
-Such a lovely children's online toy shop, with pre-school, character toys and a range of traditional board and electronic games and gadgets. Free delivery if you spend over £75.
Curious Minds
- Educational toys dedicated to science, technology and nature, selling items including Newton's cradle, a buzz wire making kit, chemistry sets, crystal growing kits, a Home Planetarium and more.
1st for toys
- Toys for younger childen at great prices. Items to tempt include a Brum Pedal Car and an In The Night Garden Pop Up Pavillion.
Stocking Fillers
- Great site for stocking fillers with items available from under £1. There are over 300 fun stocking fillers available that will enchant even the most difficult children, without breaking the bank. Well worth a look this Xmas.

 

  • Mr Potato Head
    Mr Potato Head is a toy that has been a favourite with children for many years, and he has enjoyed something of a Rennaissance since his appearance in Disney's Toy Story. Mr Potato Head was originally invented by George Lerner, a New Yorker, in 1952. He sold his invention to the company that owned Hasbro, and they still manufacture this toy today. Mrs Potato Head was introduced a year after her husband.
  • The Yo-yo
    The yo-yo is an ancient toy. It is unknown who invented it, but the earliest versions found in ancient Greece date back over two thousand five hundred years. These yo-yo's were made of wood or metal. The word "yo-yo" comes from an ancient Philippino word meaning "come back". However, in the Phillipines the yo-yo was used as a weapon. The yo-yo became popular in the UK at the beginning of the nineteenth century was was originally called a "Bandalore" - the word yo-yo was not used until the 1920's when a Philippino immigrant started to manufacture them as toys in the US. The rights to manufacture the yo-yo were bought in 1929 by D.F. Duncan Sr, and he enhanced the design to give us the modern day yo-yo.
  • Silly Putty
    If your children are anything like mine, at some time in the past they will have demanded that you buy them some Silly Putty. Silly Putty is like plasticine except if you roll it into a ball - it will bounce. It can also copy print onto its surface, although if you keep doing this it does discolour the Silly Putty after a while. It really is a quite intriguing material, not that I've played with it much myself. Ahem. Silly Putty was invented by James Wright, an engineer, in the 1940's. He made it by mixing silicone oil with boric acid.
  • Etch-a-Sketch
    Etch-a-Sketch was invented by a Frenchman, Arthur Granjean, in 1958. After it was displayed at a toy fair in Germany, the rights to its production were bought out by the Ohio Toy Company, who gave the device its current name.
  • Super Soakers
    Originally called the Power Drencher, this toy was invented in 1988 by Lonnie Johnson, who was an Aerospace Engineer. In effect, he invented the world's first water pistol that incorporated an increase in water pressure into its design, for additional soaking capacity.
Hamleys
Hamleys is a world famous toy store based on Regent Street in London. They are famed for their huge range of toys that fill the seven floors of their "bricks and mortar" store. Now you don't have to go to London any more to see what's on offer - you can visit Hamleys online .
Toy Day
- Traditional toys including wooden castle building blocks, puzzles and bath toys, a xylophone plus some great value pocket money items / stocking fillers. Free shipping when you spend £50 or more.
John Lewis
- From climbing frames to board games and doll's houses to trampolines, everything is designed to keep all children from toddlers to teenagers amused and happy, indoors and out.