Kids picked Asda's top toys for this Christmas – but what do mums and dads think?
Will you be splashing out on Christmas 2017's most-wanted toys? Parents reveal what they really think about a top new selection
AS PARENTS scour the internet for gift ideas, Asda has helpfully released a range of toys that – for the first time ever – has been chosen entirely by children.
Some 400 boys and girls from across Britain and Northern Ireland were invited to help the supermarket put together a selection of over 100 top toys. Everything was played with and marked by kids, while 'play inspectors' watched on, also assessing the facial expressions of the children, as well as dwell time and general enjoyment.
"Many retailers publish top toy lists for Christmas, but they're normally based on the industry big bets, which can lead to some damp squib products,'' says Asda toy buyer, Kate Briggs. "We decided it was time to turn to the real experts – meaning Chosen by Kids features the latest toys, but not at the expense of old favourites people find harder to get – and the result is our most impressive toy collection for many years.''
So what are the top 20 toys? Well, there are some brands you would definitely expect - Nintendo's new 2DS XL, Lego's Ninjago Fire Mech and The Batmobile, Baby Annabell and Barbie, along with some eye-boggling big stuff, like the Nerf Battle Racer go cart and Dareway Revolution Ride On (like a Segway for kids).
Happily, there are some innovative ideas too. Laser X allows you to recreate LaserQuest in your own home and Soundmoovz are funky little speakers that you wear on your wrists and ankles, and they only play music when you dance.
But never mind the small people – what about the mums and dads who are going to have to shell out for all this? We asked real parents what they thought about 10 of the top 20 toys...
:: LEGO Ninjago – Fire Mech – 70615, £50 (reduced from £59.97)
"Lego is always a great gift and a brilliant way to get parents involved,'' says Catherine Fletcher, mum-of-two. "What's always exciting about Lego is that you can take it apart and do it all again – and it keeps the children entertained for hours.''
:: Laser X 2 Player Pack, £45
"I really like this,'' says mum-of-two, Tonia Prestney. "It's cheaper than the competition, great for children's parties and you can use it indoors or outside. I'm not sure if the novelty factor will wear off though, and while I like the fact you can buy additional packs if you want to make a party of it, it would be expensive to do that.''
:: Barbie DreamCamper, £67 (reduced from £99.99)
"I already know how much my kids want this as they've told me all about it,'' says Claire Richardson, who has two daughters. "They're particularly excited about the teeny-tiny marshmallows Barbie can toast on the campfire. It is a pretty cool present – I think they'll get a lot of use out of it – but it's a lot of money. I wouldn't pay full price.''
:: Paw Patrol Jungle Patroller, £50 (reduced from £64.97)
"This is like the new Optimus Prime,'' Martyn Blanchard, dad-of-one, says. "Every child aged five and under would love this. Paw patrol is always on in our house. It looks nice and chunky for little hands. The quad is a nice touch to drive in and out of the back. My only negative is, it's £50!''
:: SoundMoovz, £45
"This is one I'm really surprised about,'' says mum-of-two, Claire Spreadbury. "I love this. It's a quirky idea, encourages kids to get active, is pretty techy and plays music. It's a winning gift from a parent's perspective – although it's quite a steep price point. But kids obviously love it too. I can see the whole family getting involved on Christmas Day.''
:: Little Live Pets My Dream Kitten, £38
"This is the sort of toy you always expect to be a hit with kids,'' says James Richardson, who has two children. "It's not often a hit with me though – just another mechanised furry thing that will grab their attention when it's new. I can see why children like it, though.''
:: Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Magical Oven, £20
"Oh no, the dreaded Play-Doh,'' says mum-of-two Claire Richardson. "My little ones love the stuff but it gets everywhere! We're picking bits up weeks after they've played with it. Having said that, it does keep them entertained for ages. It's also much more affordable than most of the other items.''
:: Little Tikes My First Drone, £30
"This is cheaper than a lot of other drones on the market, and it's very simple to use,'' says Ben Prestney, who has a son and a daughter at primary school. "It's a good activity to play in the house in the winter and is simple, but not basic. And it seems pretty robust.''
:: Ben 10 Rust Bucket Playset, £49.97
"I can see why kids would like this, but I'm not drawn to a massive hunk of plastic that costs a lot,'' notes James Richardson. "One for the serious Ben 10 fans, I guess.''
:: Nikko Air DRL 115 Air Elite Drone Race Set, £50
"This looks fantastic,'' Martyn Blanchard says. "I love the fact you don't need to be a pilot to operate it, as it has auto take off, hovering, landing and can do twenty in-built tricks! Sod the kids, I want one!''