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

Holly the stuffed Rottweiler has been missing from the front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb. 24. (Submitted photo)
Holly the stuffed Rottweiler is missing from Duncan shop

Toy dog missing from front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb.24

Martha Jane McHardy displays her knitwear in one of the windows at Imagine That! in Duncan this month. (Submitted)
Arts and Entertainment column: Lots to see in Duncan in March

Funding success, painters show, folk art, tell your COVID story

The Kinsol Trestle in Shawnigan Lake is a sight to behold. Funding for the expansion of the Shawnigan Museum celebrates its 100th anniversary. (Citizen file)
Shawnigan Museum expansion gets $480,000

Funds from Government of Canada Legacy Fund - Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
Cowichan Valley mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Clockwise from top left: Malahat First Nation Chief George Harry and councillors Steve Henry and Cindy Harry address community members in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Malahat Nation confirms first two cases of COVID-19

Community has been under stay-at-home order since Jan. 7

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read