Hamleys said there will be plenty of toys to buy in its stores this Christmas as it unveiled its top toy predictions for 2021 – a list that includes a “magic” cauldron and the latest iteration of Lego’s blockbuster tie-up with Super Mario.
Victoria Kay, head of buying at the toy chain, said the retailer had been building up its stock levels since March. “I don’t have a crystal ball but all I can say it that as we stand today we’re in a really strong position.”
Fears of a toy shortage this Christmas have become the latest flash point in the country’s supply chain crisis. This week a buildup of cargo in Felixstowe saw vessels directed to other ports, leading to predictions that toy deliveries would be waylaid. The Entertainer toy chain has predicted there will not be enoughBarbie dolls and Paw Patrol toys to meet demand.
Hamleys, famous for its flagship store on Regent Street, London, said it had plenty of the toys in its top 10 which run the gamut from £11 for a LOL Surprise Doll to the Barbie Dream House, which with a working lift and swimming pool costs £310.
However it describes the Magic Mixies Cauldron as the “wow toy of 2021”. The set, which costs £70, comes with a wand, spell book, potions and interactive toy. Young magicians can use it to conjure, complete with smoky special effects, a cuddly pet critter. The refills needed to repeat the theatrics cost about £10.
Lego’s recently trumpeted the success of its Super Mario tie-up with the games company Nintendo. Last year a set devoted to its famous mustachioed plumber Mario was a big hit and this year’s one focused on his taller brother Luigi is also predicted to be huge.
Hamleys benefited from having a large own-brand toy business which made it less reliable on big names, she said, reiterating that it had been getting ready for Christmas for more than six months. “When we opened the stores after being closed for quite a while we needed to make sure they were ready for customers to come back to,” she said.
Hamleys’ Christmas top 10
Mattel Barbie Dream House – latest refurb of classic dollhouse (£310)
LOL Surprise Movie Magic Doll – doll and wardrobe accessories to “unbox” (£11)
Ralleyz Warrior 3-in-1 – remote control racing car that fires darts and bubbles (£90)
Lego Super Mario Luigi – Mario’s brother Luigi gets his own starter set (£50)
Nerf Elite Flip 2.0 – blaster with back-to-back barrels (£25)
Huggables – huggable Avocado, Unicorn, Watermelon or Koala (£20)
Dicii Snakes and Ladders (£14)