Dolls and darts are at the top of the Christmas wish list for children across the UAE - but parents are spending less on gifts this year, according to a leading toy distributor.
The most popular stocking fillers for the festive season are the LOL Surprise! dolls and the Zuru X-Shot dart blaster ranges.
That is according to Charbel Azar, sales and marketing director at distribution company Toy Triangle, who said that more parents than ever were looking for online offers for Christmas in the UAE.
He also said that the PJ Masks range, based on an animated YouTube show, and Rainbowcorns, where children can collect six different unicorns, were among the hottest presents this year.
The National asked Mr Azar, whose company is one of the leading distribution chains in the country, if the price of toys in the UAE was affecting the market.
“The traditional way of shopping for toys is changing and this is something we have seen in the numbers this year,” he said.
"The behaviour of customers has changed as well as the approach for shopping. Going to the malls and heading to a specific store to buy one specific item is not appealing to the customer anymore, especially when this can be done in the click of a button."
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Mr Azar said there has been a notable decline in the amount of money that families are spending on toys this year.
“Although we do not have a specific figure, we have noticed is that, in general, toy sales have dropped this year across all categories,” he said.
“On average the basket spend per family on toys this year has shrunk but it is still one of the major budget parents dedicate part of their salaries to entertain their kids, especially during seasonal holidays such as Christmas and Eid.”
Another trend that Mr Azar noticed was that many people left it late to do their Christmas shopping this year.
“Choosing the toy gifts is being done very late and customers started heading to the stores only one week before Christmas compared to previous years where normally customers start shopping in the beginning of December or earlier.
“Shoppers are becoming savvier and waiting for sales, special offers and shopping festivals to get the best deals.”
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LOL Surprise! is a range of collectible dolls that comes with a host of mix and match accessories. The line starts from Dh17 and includes accessories such as buses (Dh70) and amusement parks (Dh63). There is also an LOL Surprise! make-up kit that costs Dh49.
Zuru X-Shot blasters are another hot item this year. The toy dart guns are available from Dh27 upwards and accessories can be bought from around Dh10.
PJ Masks. Based on the hit animated show on YouTube, the PJ Masks range is another hit with children this Christmas. A collectible figure box will set you back around Dh35.
Rainbowcorns are also expected to be found wrapped under a lot of Christmas trees this year. The plush collectible toys start from around Dh115 in price.
Pomsies.The interactive kitten was created to sing and dance while its owners were singing to them. The plush kitten pets can also be worn and fed and cost Dh119 each.
Little Fairy Doors are also said to be much-sought after items this Christmas. The doors were designed to be placed against closets, trees or any hiding place that children could think of, they will cost in the region of Dh149 each.
Oli Ella accessories are also expected to be big sellers this year. The products are made from wicker-and-rattan and were designed with an emphasis on being environmentally friendly. The range includes back packs and a strolley (Dh570) - which doubles up as a trolley and a pram.
Twee Chalk (Dh79) is a unicorn stick made entirely of chalk and was designed to improve motor skills and increase grip strength of children.
The Lego Harry Potter Hogwarts Express set is another must have toy this year. The set starts around Dh699 and comes with 801 pieces.
Fingerlings' Untamed Dino range is a host of toys that respond to motion and sound. Parents who are planning on giving their children a little T-Rex or raptor this year will can expect to pay Dh125 for the pleasure.