Every December, there’s typically a huge amount of discussion in the press about which Christmas present will be the most popular that year. In 2016, there are already many contenders that have been talked about – ranging from Nerf toys to the updated version of that 1990s favourite, Furby.
But what were the most purchased Christmas toys of years past? We thought we’d take a little trip down memory lane, covering each and every year back to 1995.
2015: Adele’s 25 album
Yep, it was the English singer’s multi-million-selling follow-up to the immensely well-received 21 that was purchased most often during the Christmas 2015 season – at least according to Amazon’s own sales rankings for the period from 1st November to 13th December.
As reported by The Independent, the album was followed in the list by the likes of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet, Paco Rabane Lady Million Eau de Parfum Spray and the Call of Duty: Black Ops III video game.
2014: Frozen Snow Glo Elsa
The Disney movie seemed to be the subject of every kind of merchandising craze during 2014, encompassing outfits, lunch boxes and this £34.99 doll.
2013: Furby Boom
Who’d have thought that Furby could ever make a return to popularity? Hadn’t we all grown to hate the little critter last time? Well, it seems that new children and parents were taking him to their heart in 2013.
2012: Skylanders Giants
For those who have been living on Mars in recent years (or who just never need to buy any Christmas presents for kids), Skylanders are toys that the user places on a platform and watches come to life in a video game, namely the Skylanders series published by Activision. It remains a multi-billion-pound technology franchise.
2011: Leapfrogs LeapPad Explorer Tablet
This interactive and educational toy could be bought with change from £80, so it’s unsurprising that so many parents chose it in 2011 over the many much pricier (and of course, more obvious) tablets out there.
2010: Toy Story 3 DVD
The third instalment in the CGI animated film series couldn’t possibly have been better-received, attracting a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s not a big shock that the DVD sold in droves, even if a big price cut as Christmas loomed helped it to clinch top spot in the rankings.
2009: Go Go Hamsters
The Tamagotchis of the 2000s? These battery-powered hamsters were said on the packaging to “chatter, scatter, scoot n’ scurry just like a real hamster!”, which begged an obvious question. Still, we suppose not having to feed or clean out the hutch of an actual living, breathing pet must have appealed to some of 2009’s time-poor parents.
2008: High School Musical Dance Mat
Plenty of kids were strutting their stuff in the late 2000s with this dance mat, which carried the branding of the third film in the trilogy. For the UK’s budding young Zac Efrons and Vanessa Hudgenses (you see what we did there?), there was no accessory more essential.
2007: In the Night Garden... Iggle Piggle
The BBC children’s TV series has been capturing young imaginations since it was first broadcast in 2007, the same year this cute toy topped the festive sales charts.
2006: Nintendo Wii
The idea that playing video games could be a physical activity that – dare we say it – kept you fit was a laughable one until the arrival of the Wii, which if nothing else, we simply have to thank for all of the footage of news presenters thoroughly embarrassing themselves trying to get into the craze.
2005: PlayStation Portable
What became popularly known as the PSP was first released in Europe in September 2005, helping to usher in the new era of sophisticated handheld gaming devices.
This toy-like humanoid robot won plenty of both attention and sales, in part due to its use of NASA technology.
Japan has a lot to answer for when it comes to getting British kids hooked on curious new toys, and the Beyblades range of battling spinning tops more than lived up to the tradition.
2002: Bratz dolls
These dolls were all the rage in 2002, giving Barbie serious cause for concern.
2001: Bob the Builder
Remember that annoying Christmas number one in 2000? Well, Bob the Builder fever hadn’t exactly abated a year later, as another single, “Mambo No. 5” hit the top spot and parents raided the stores for seemingly anything to do with Bob, Scoop, Muck and Dizzy.
2000: Teksta Robotic Puppy
What is it with Brits seemingly not wanting to bother with real pets? These robotic pups responded to light, sound and infrared, so seemed to perfectly suffice for many children at the dawn of the millennium.
1999: Who Wants to be a Millionaire? board game
The long-running quiz show for budding millionaires first hit our screens in 1998, and by the festive period of 1999, was very much in its pomp – on which an interactive board game helped to capitalise.
The original Furby commenced a rapid rise to popularity – and notoriety – after its launch in October 1998, with stores overrun with demand from parents seeking one.
The virtual pet became a common sight in British classrooms for a brief time in the late ‘90s, and given the constant attention it required, it’s fair to say it wasn’t the most practical toy.
1996: Toy Story Buzz Lightyear
Few Christmas toys have gained such mercurial status as the original Buzz Lightyear toy, released to tie in with the first Toy Story film. Let’s just say they quickly became like gold dust.
Sometime in the ‘90s, people got the idea of collecting and even playing a tiddlywinks-type game with milk caps, from which the Pogs craze quickly spawned. We bet you had a pretty in-depth collection of them yourself!
As you can see from the above, it isn’t always easy to predict what will be the next big Christmas craze. If you buy yourself a gift this festive season, or indeed a little something for someone else, make it a Profit Accumulator membership – your bank manager will thank you for it in 2017.