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Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

The best toys to buy this Christmas

The Christmas shopping season has officially begun and the most popular toys of the year are already selling out.

This year Hatchimals are top of many wishlists but the fluffy interactive toys have become a hot commodity, selling out across New Zealand and in many outlets worldwide.

Philippa Bannerman from toy distributor Planet Fun said the toys had sparked a craze across the country.

"A quick Google of Hatchimals immediately reveals a long stream of global news stories describing parents' often futile desperation to secure one," Bannerman said.

"In New Zealand the toy sold out within two weeks, and although there have been subsequent shipments Hatchimals are getting hard to find."

A number of other more available toys are also on the market for Christmas including soft toy Ty Beanies, Paw Patrol Roll Patrol Tower, and Shopkins Happy Places Happy House - which Bannerman said was the number one girls toy brand in New Zealand this year.

The Warehouse launched its sales season last weekend with Black Friday and Cyber Monday - traditionally US sales days which have long signified the start of Christmas shopping.

A spokesperson for the company said its first Cyber Monday had gone well and Red Friday, its version of Black Friday, had seen a huge day of sales for the business.

"[We] had a huge day on Friday with queues outside many stores in the lead up to opening," she said.

"An example of some of the sales was 9000 board games sold in a single day. It was the fourth Red Friday for us but this was the first year we included our online store as well," she said.

"That proved to be a huge hit with customers."

Noel Leeming also reported strong sales for Black Friday with queues of up to 50 people at some city stores.

"It goes to show how Black Friday is becoming embedded into New Zealander's psyche," said executive general manager operations Garth Brown.

"Kiwi's capitalised on the opportunity to shop our amazing deals and buy for Christmas."

Trade Me's Logan Mudge said the company had been researching the site's data, national and international trends, to help predict what was going to be popular for kids this year.

"In amongst our top ten most popular toys for this Christmas is a clear resurgence, or reimagining, of some old favourites with retro toys like Sylvanian Families, Furby, Rubik's cubes and scooters all in the mix," Mudge said.

Another theme in this year's top ten is animatronic pets. Furby, FurReal Friends and Hatchimals are all popular gifts this year.

"Kids seem to be very keen on raising their own toy pet friend this year," Mudge said.

"The five species of Hatchimals are one of the 'it' toys around the world this year with reports they are virtually impossible to get hold of in North America and the UK."

Mudge said the message to parents was "don't muck around".

Top ten gifts at The Warehouse
• Shopkins Happy Places Happy House
• Little Live Pets My Dream Puppy
• Nerf Rebelle
• Bunch o Balloons Launcher with Balloons
• LEGO City Volcano Supply Helicopter
• Shopkins Chef Club
• Zuru Cake Splat Game
• NERF Modulus Tri Strike
• Bop It Moves Game
• Fisher Price Die Cast

Top ten gifts according to Trade Me
• Hatchimals
• Lego Technic
• Nerf blasters
• Paw Patrol playsets
• FurReal Friends
• Sylvanian Families
• Shopkins: Happy Places
• Scooters
• Furby Connect
• Rubik's cube

2015 top ten gifts according to Trade Me
• Lego - 'Star Wars' and 'Friends'
• Trampolines
• Battery powered ride on cars
• Swing sets
• Disney Frozen costumes and dolls
• Kinetic sand
• Quadcopters/mini drones
• Wooden Train tables
• Sand and water play tables
• Pop up tents

- NZ Herald

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