New York | Toy of the Year awards underscores big year for children’s licenses

Pokemon, Super Mario, Star Wars The Mandalorian, and PAW Patrol are just some of the leading children’s brands to have won big this weekend when the annual Toy of the Year awards hosted an all-virtual event to reveal its winners.

A tussle of the titans ensued as the awards – recognised as the ‘Oscars of the toy industry’ – watched global toy makers LEGO and Mattel emerge with no fewer than four award wins each, with the likes of LEGO’s Super Mario play-sets and Mattel’s The Mandalorian The Child Plush thrust into the spotlight.

License of the Year went to Disney for The Mandalorian, while the Pokemon Trading Card Game took home Game of the Year. Pre-school Toy of the Year was swept up by Spin Master and its PAW Patrol franchise, while Playmibile drove home at 88mph with the Vehicle of the Year award for its Back to the Future DeLorean play-set.

“It’s an exhilarating feeling to be recognized for our relentless drive to push the boundaries of play,” said Anton Rabie, Spin Master’s chairman and co-chief executive officer of the firm’s win in the Pre-school Toy of the Year category.

“Every year our incredibly talented team, in collaboration with our amazing community of external inventors, raises the bar on innovation with the purpose of developing magical moments and experiences for kids and families around the world. Together, we’re committed to reimagining where imagination can take us.”

Meanwhile, in a surprise announcement, two winners were chosen for the People’s Choice Award; Story Time Chess (Story Time Chess), a classic game re-imagined for the youngest of players, and The Original Spawn Action Figure and Comic Remastered (McFarlane Toys), a fan-favourite that has its roots in Kickstarter success.

Toy of the Year Awards were handed out in 16 categories. The winners are:

Action Figure of the Year: Fisher-Price #ThankYouHeroes Line (Mattel)

Collectible of the Year: LEGO Super Mario Character Packs (LEGO)

Construction Toy of the Year: LEGO Star Wars The Razor Crest (LEGO)

Creative Toy of the Year: Crayola Colors of the World Crayons (Crayola LLC)

Doll of the Year: Barbie Color Reveal (Mattel)

Game of the Year: Pokémon Trading Card Game Battle Academy (The Pokémon Company International)

Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen (Mattel)

Innovative Toy of the Year: Star Wars: The Child Animatronic Edition Toy (Hasbro)

License of the Year: Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Disney)

Outdoor Toy of the Year: Ultimate Go-Kart (Radio Flyer)

Playset of the Year: LEGO Super Mario Bowser’s Castle Boss Battle Expansion Set (LEGO)

Plush Toy of the Year: Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child 11” Plush (Mattel)

Preschool Toy of the Year: PAW Patrol Dino Patroller (Spin Master)

Specialty Toy of the Year: LEGO Ideas Grand Piano (LEGO)

STEAM Toy of the Year: Mega Cyborg Hand (Thames & Kosmos)

Vehicle of the Year: PLAYMOBIL Back To The Future DeLorean (PLAYMOBIL)

Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association, said: “From 117 outstanding finalists to this year’s TOTY winners, to Hasbro’s Toy of the Year Award and two unique People’s Choice winners, each underscores the joy of play in uncertain times, the togetherness of family game night, as well as the swiftly-evolving retail and e-commerce landscape.

“The TOTYs continue to reflect the toy and play community’s passion and perseverance, all while honoring the richly deserving Hall of Fame inductees. It also raises vital funding for The Toy Foundation as it embarks on impactful new programs supporting children’s hospitals and driving diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the toy industry. We thank the independent expert judging panels and the tens of thousands of individuals who voted this year.”

During the event, four toy industry visionaries were also officially inducted into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame. This year saw Philip Bloom, founder and former publisher of The Bloom Report; William C. Killgallon, chairman of the board at The Ohio Art Company; Pleasant T. Rowland, founder of American Girl, a division of Mattel, Inc.; and the late Margarete Steiff, founder and creator of Steiff were all inducted.

Read more about the Hall of Fame inductees here.

More than 500 TOTY Award nominees poured in late last summer. Of those, 117 finalists were selected by a panel of expert judges. Category winners were then determined based on votes from toy retailers (mass and specialty), media, Toy Association members, and consumers.

The “Toy of the Year” winner was determined by an expert panel that discussed all the finalists before rendering a decision based on TOTY votes, holiday sales, and media buzz (traditional, online, and social).

The “People’s Choice” award winners were uniquely selected by online consumer votes. All results were audited for accuracy, including the judging and voting process, and The NPD Group validated marketplace acceptance. Descriptions of all TOTY finalists can be found at

Children’s entertainment licenses praised by Toy Retailers Association among its Toy of the Year Award winners

Children’s entertainment licenses PAW Patrol, Super Mario, Harry Potter, and Star Wars have been among those praised by the Toy Retailers Association for the role they have played in helping the toy industry through a troubled 2020.

In this year’s Toy of the Year awards, reflective of the change of pace for the retail scene in general over the course of last year, a strong line-up of licensed product has been championed alongside some of the best performing companies to have fuelled the industry’s five per cent year on year sales increase.

In a change of approach to the usual Toy of the Year selection process, this year’s listing reflects the impact that the pandemic has had on the sector. Yet, while online sales have accounted for just under half of all toy sales of 2020, suppliers and retailers have still played a major role in keeping the nation’s children smiling.

Amid the uncertainty, there have been four outstanding categories which have played their part in delivering the industry’s growth, all of which have outperformed the overall market.

The TRA recognises that multiple suppliers have played an integral part in each of the categories, but the selection panel has decided to highlight a ‘winner’ in each of these categories to represent the largest overall contribution to the category in a unique year for the industry.

“This year, in keeping with the year we have just experienced, we decided to be total different in our approach,” Alan Simpson, chairman of the Toy Retailers Association, told ToyNews.

“When people look back at award winners in years to come, they will notice that 2020 was totally different. I believe that this was the correct approach to reflect the challenges we have all had to overcome.”


This was a key performer in the overall market. As well as helping educate and entertain children, this category topped the growth (year on year) performance with various suppliers driving this increase.

It was the like of Ravensburger, Orchard, Gibsons Games, Asmodee, Hasbro and Tomy (Drumond Park) that all performed superbly well throughout the year.

The panel has chosen RAVENSBURGER as its standout performer in this category.


This is an area dominated by one supplier, although Hornby with its Airfix range added a different dimension to this category with notable ranges from K’Nex and Geomag.

The winner in this category is LEGO. Delivering remarkable growth consistently over the last 10 years, LEGO has yet again outperformed the market and is to be commended for keeping the nation’s children (and kidults) entertained and amused throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and various lockdowns.


In a category that benefitted from people having to stay at home, it was inevitable that growth would be achieved in this area. Many products helped with our children’s mental and physical health – bicycles, trampolines, skateboards, as well as outdoor ranges from the likes of Little Tikes.

The standout performer in this category was MOOKIE TOYS for its swingball range.


Again, a variety of suppliers contributed to making this category such a success. These were Galt, Crayola, John Adams, and Spin Master with its Kinetic Sand, to name but a few.

The winner in this category is HASBRO for its domination in the arts and crafts sector through its Play Doh brand.

Many other suppliers contributed to the success of 2020 and the panel recognised the most notable listed below, with the reasons noted alongside. These will all receive a “Highly Commended” certificate this year.

BANDAI for its launch of the Cocomelon range.

 for continued success with its Peppa Pig, Goo Jit Zu and Pokemon ranges

FUNRISE for its Fart Ninja line

 for its Hey Duggee and Bing ranges

 for its L.O.L. Surprise! range

 for its success with its Barbie, Hot Wheels and Star Wars’ The Child ranges

SPIN MASTER for Paw Patrol

 for its varied pre-school learning range

 for the successful launch of its 5 Surprise Mini Brands range

Meanwhile, LICENSES continued to play a big part in 2020. In addition to licenses already mentioned, Frozen, Super Mario and Harry Potter continued to deliver throughout the year.

The TRA sincerely hopes that ‘normal service’ resumes in 2021 when we can revert to our customary criteria and identify the actual toy winners and allocating awards accordingly. In the meantime, we wish you all a successful and healthy 2021.

JAKKS Pacific extends its global toy partnership with Nintendo for more Super Mario lines

JAKKS Pacific has extended its global toy partnership with Nintendo of America in a deal that will see the toy maker continue to design, manufacture, market, and sell various Nintendo and Super Mario branded toys worldwide.

Over the course of the last year alone, JAKKS has launched a vast portfolio of Super Mario products to a global audience, and has most recently found success with its Super Mario It’s-A Me Mario! and the Boo Mansion play-set. Both performed well with physical and online retailers.

In addition to a raft of new 2.5-inch figures and play-sets coming in spring 2021, JAKKS will launch a broad line of new plush, varying scales of character-based figures, vehicles, and more.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Nintendo which started in 2013 and has allowed us to ship tens of millions of figures to fans of the games worldwide,” said Craig Drobis, senior vice president of marketing at JAKKS Pacific, Inc.

“We have enjoyed celebrating 35 years of Super Mario this year alongside Nintendo. JAKKS will continue to bring to life these iconic characters in a wide variety of new and unique ways for both kids and fans alike.”

JAKKS Pacific is headquartered in Santa Monica, California and manages a broad portfolio of licensed and owned I.P. brands and products. These product lines include best sellers such as Super Mario action figures, multi-packs, diorama sets, plush, RC Racers, windup toys and play-sets.

EPOCH making toys: “2021 is a year of huge potential for our Super Mario Games”

EPOCH making toys has earmarked 2021 as a ‘year of huge potential’ for Super Mario Games, as the international toy firm prepares to bolster a range of official Nintendo licensed products launched to UK retail this autumn/winter.

Its current portfolio, comprising the Super Mario Balancing Game that challenges players to balance Mario characters on a swaying stage, the Super Mario Blow Up Shaky Tower, that sees characters attempt to scale a tower, and the Super Mario Piranha Plant Escape, a plant dodging board game, has been launched to a ‘resounding success.’

The toy firm will now expand the reach of the initial launch portfolio as well as grow the range through autumn/winter 2021 in the lead up to next Christmas.

“We see 2021 as a year of huge potential for Super Mario Games,” Kim Nicholls, brand manager at EPOCH making toys, told “We’ll have more product in the market and be able to support the range with a multimedia marketing plan.”

Nicholls’ plans follow what she has dubbed a ‘hugely positive response’ to the launch of the initial line of games this year.

“We don’t see the momentum slowing down in 2021, especially with the ramp up to the feature film in 2022,” she added.

2020 has marked a year of high activity for Nintendo’s Super Mario brand that – sharing its 35th anniversary year with Epoch’s own Sylvanian Families – has found itself the focus of a brand re-invigoration within the toy space, that includes a major new partnership with LEGO and licensed ranges from Hasbro.

“The appetite for the Super Mario license is immense in the UK at the moment and as a company we are proud to launch an exciting range of games for such a beloved brand,” continued Nicholls.

“Epoch Head Office has a long-standing relationship with Nintendo that we are thrilled to be bringing to the UK.

“Our Super Mario Games truly offer something for everyone. The variety of gameplay styles within the range vary from solo to group play, balancing challenges to more traditional board game play. The Link System also allows for the games to be played together, which offers players a new experience each time.

“We think Super Mario fans will be wowed by the attention to detail in our game figures, which have huge collectability.”

As the company prepares to extend the portfolio through the coming year, EPOCH making toys has also teased a new addition to the popular Aquabeads line up.

“Not only is the Super Mario Games range an exciting new endeavour for Epoch Making Toys, but fans of Super Mario should also keep their eyes peeled for an exciting launch with Aquabeads later in 2021,” Nicholls concluded.

Super Mario, Cocomelon, Back to the Future: Here’s the long list of all DreamToys 2020 picks for this Christmas

This year’s long list of DreamToys – the predicted best-selling toys and games for Christmas 2020 – is a mix of ‘those that have kept families entertained over lockdown’ and boundary pushing innovation destined ‘to impress under the Christmas tree.’

Alongside the DreamToys Top 12 Toys for Christmas, the committee has released a fuller, longer list of toys and games that it believes will be topping wish lists across the country this festive season, featuring familiar names like Barbie an Peppa Pig alongside new lines such as Fifi the Flossing Sloth and Squishmallows.

Family favourites Scrabble, UNO, and Cluedo also make an appearance in time for the season.

Gary Grant, chair of the DreamToys selection committee, said: “2020 has been a challenging year for all, but toys have entertained and educated many during lockdown.

“This year’s list represents a mixture of those toys which have kept families company during these difficult times, and innovation which will impress under the tree. We hope toys will continue to bring joy to all families over the festive period – as they have always done.”

There are seven categories this year, each designed to highlight the wildly different and varied types of play that children can take part in.

Dolled Up:

Barbie Colour Reveal Mermaid Doll Asst – Mattel – £19.99

Cocomelon Bedtime JJ Doll – Bandai – £24.99

FailFix Epic Colour ‘N’ Style Makeover Pack – Moose Toys – £29.99

Hatchimals Pixies Crystal Flyers Assortment – Spin Master – £34.99

Kindi Kids Shiver ‘n’ Shake Rainbow Kate – Moose Toys – £39.99

L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Remix 4-in-1 Plane Playset – MGA Entertainment – £89.99

L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Remix Fashion Doll Asst – MGA Entertainment – £39.99

Luvabella Mealtime Magic – Spin Master – £64.99


Crafty Kids:

Aquabeads Star Bead Studio – EPOCH Making Toys

Cool Maker Go Glam Nail Salon Stamper – Spin Master

DOTS Rainbow Jewellery Stand Set – LEGO

Friends Jungle Rescue Base – LEGO

Gemex Deluxe Creation Station – John Adams

Kidizoom Studio – VTech Electronics

Stuff A Loons Maker Station – Character Options

The Original Spirograph Design Set Boxed – Flair Leisure Products


Licensed to Thrill:

Fortnite Battle Bus – Jazwares

Harry Potter Hedwig – LEGO

Jurassic World Epic Roarin’ T-Rex – Mattel

Marvel Bend and Flex (Asst) – Hasbro

Peppa Pig Peppa’s Shopping Centre – Character Options

Pokémon Carry Case Playset – Character Options

Star Wars 501st Legion Clone Troopers Set – LEGO

Star Wars The Mandalorian – The Child “Baby Yoda” – Mattel

Super Mario Adventures With Mario Starter Course – LEGO


Animal Farm:

Fifi the Flossing Sloth – Zuru

Hey Duggee Voice Activated Smart Duggee – Golden Bear

Little Live Pets Gotta Go Flamingo – Character Options

Present Pets (Asst) – Spin Master

Rainbocorns Wild Heart Surprise – Zuru

Smashers Dino Ice Age Surprise Egg – Zuru

Squeakee The Interactive Balloon Dog – Character Options

Sylvanian Families Adventure Tree House – Epoch Making Toys


Lockdown Showdown:

Cluedo Liars Edition Board Game – Hasbro

Dobble – Asmodee

Monopoly For Sore Losers – Hasbro

NERF Ultra One Motorised Blaster – Hasbro

Pensilly – Character Options

Pop Up Pirate – TOMY UK

Scrabble – Mattel

Super Mario Blow Up Shaky Tower – Epoch Making Toys

UNO Showdown – Mattel

Windy Knickers Board Game – John Adams


Tiny Treats:

5 Surprise Mini Brands Mystery Capsule – Zuru

Bright Fairy Friends – Funrise Toys

Heroes of Goo Jit Zu – Character Options

L.O.L. Surprise! Remix Hair Flip Doll – MGA Entertainment

Rubik’s 3 x 3 Metallic Anniversary Cube – John Adams

Squishmallows 7.5” – Squad 4 Asst – Jazwares


Awesome Automobiles:

Back To The Future DeLorean – Playmobil

Barbie 3-in-1 DreamCamper – Mattel

Hot Wheels Sky Crash Tower Playset – Mattel

Laser Battle Hunters Vehicle – Character Options

Micro Machines World Super Van City – Jazwares

PAW Patrol Dino Rescue Deluxe Vehicle – Spin Master

PAW Patrol Dino Rescue Dino Patroller – Spin Master

Technic Fast & Furious Dom’s Dodge Charger Car – LEGO

Toot-Toot Drivers Twist & Race Tower – VTech Electronics


In a year which has also seen fewer holidays and more time at home, the importance of toys has come to the fore. A survey of 2,000 UK parents with young children (aged 10 or under), conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Toy Retailers Association, has shown that this year has led to not only increased time playing with toys but also to parents growing closer with their children.

When asked if their children had played more with toys this year, 46 per cent of parents said that this had been the case and that it was a result of lockdown. 56 per cent of parents stated that they have spent more time playing with their children this year, and a striking 88 per cent of those said that the increased playtime had resulted in them growing closer to their children.

As Christmas approaches, toys seemingly remain at the forefront of children’s minds with 86 per cent of parents saying that their children either already have requested or are expected to ask for toys this Christmas. 82 per cent of parents said that they planned on buying toys this Christmas for their children, demonstrating that they remain the go-to gift for children across the country.

Strong licensing and kids’ brands presence in DreamToys Top 12 Toys for Christmas listing

It’s a strong selection of children’s licenses that make up this year’s DreamToys Top 12 Toys for Christmas selection, not only a line-up that underlines a shift towards ‘slow play’ over the course of 2020, but a further lean into the brands and entertainment franchises that parents and families have taken comfort in throughout a rocky past 10 months.

PAW Patrol, Star Wars, Peppa Pig, and Super Mario have all managed to find their place on the big dozen products selected by the DreamToys committee this year, further cementing the intrinsic relationship between the toy and licensing communities and the brands that have powered an industry through a pandemic.

On top of this, it is the ‘slower play’ toys that have come out on top this year, with brands like LEGO, Barbie and Monopoly featuring in a list that has in previous years been dominated by the surge in demand for collectables. Lockdown restrictions and access to shops has fueled a shift in consumer mindset over the course of the coronavirus crisis, with parents making more considered purchases over the ‘fast sell’ pocket money pick ups.

While the list has been revealed to inject some festive spirit into a year mired by lockdowns, social restrictions and economic woes, the coronavirus situation remains present even still. The DreamToys committee has, alongside its listing, released a call to action from the UK’s shoppers to get their Christmas shopping done early, avoid the usual final weeks Christmas dash, and avoid disappointment on missing out on products in short supply.

“We implore consumers not to leave their Christmas shopping to the final few weeks of the year,” explained Gary Grant, chair of the DreamToys selection committee. “Due to Covid-19 restrictions across the country, retailers will simply not be able to service as many people in store due to social distancing.

“In addition, couriers are already overloaded and will struggle to meet the demand to get presents to people before Christmas. Added to this is the limited availability of stock compared to previous years; our advice is to shop early to avoid missing out.”

The DreamToys list is selected by a panel of retailers and industry experts, the list is independent of toy manufacturers and makers.

This year’s Top 12 list is dominated by the big classic toy brands and licenses that have entertained children for generations such as Barbie, Monopoly, Harry Potter, LEGO and Star Wars as well as the massively popular Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Pokémon and L.O.L Surprise.

The complete Top 12 list is:

5 Surprise Mini Brands Mystery Capsule – Zuru – £6.99

Barbie 3-in-1 DreamCamper – Mattel – £79.99

Harry Potter Hedwig – LEGO – £34.99

LOL Surprise OMG Remix Fashion Doll Asst – MGA Entertainment – £39.99

Laser Battle Hunters Vehicle – Character Options – £59.99

Monopoly For Sore Losers – Hasbro – £22.99

PAW Patrol Dino Rescue Dino Patroller – Spin Master – £64.99

Peppa Pig Peppa’s Shopping Centre – Character Options – £39.99

Pokemon Carry Case Play-Set – Character Options – £39.99

Present Pets Asst – Spin Master – £54.99

Star Wars The Mandalorian The Child “Baby Yoda” – Mattel – £29.99

Super Mario Adventures with Mario Startercourse – LEGO – £49.99

Toys and play has been highlighted as a major form of entertainment for children and families throughout the UK’s period of lockdown, as statistics from the NPD show that toy sales have increased by six per cent on the first nine months of 2020, while Games and Puzzles saw a surge of 32 per cent.

A survey conducted by the Toy Retailers Association of 2,000 parents showed 56 per cent of parents have spent more time playing with their children since lockdown, while 88 per cent felt that toys had helped them bond more closely with their children.

Frederique Tutt, vice president, global industry expert, toys, The NPD Group, said: “Toys and games have proved their value in 2020. As in other markets, Britons turned to toys and games to help fill the long weeks of lockdown.

“For the period of lockdown alone, sales rose by 15 per cent. However, unit sales are down nine per cent for the first nine months of the year. As consumers have not been able to visit stores, sales of lower price point collectables have decreased in favour of ‘slow’ play toys such as those in this year’s DreamToys list.”

Grant added: “This year’s DreamToys Top 12 includes a range of products from classic brands such as Monopoly and Barbie, to popular licenses and innovative new toys to suit all price points. Toys have been an important part of families’ lives during lockdown and we believe many on this list will put a well-deserved smile on faces this Christmas.”

To see the Top 12 in more detail, and the full longlist of DreamToys, consumers can head to the DreamToys Facebook page (

World’s first Super Nintendo World is launching at Universal Studios Japan in 2021

The world’s first Super Nintendo World, a ‘spectacular area themed around Nintendo’s characters and universes,’ is scheduled to open at Universal Studios Japan in spring 2021. The new area will bring with it themed attractions, restaurants, shops, and other initiatives such as the ‘asobi experience’.

In anticipation of the new zone and its big launch in 2021, a Mario Cafe and Store will open at the theme park’s Hollywood Area, separate from the Super Nintendo World next week. The Mario Cafe and Store will bring together restaurants and retail stores scattered around the world of Mario.

Mario and Luigi’s iconic green and red caps will stand as monuments to the characters over the doors of the new cafe and store, wall decorations will take inspiration from the legacy of the gaming franchise, while tables will be themed around the mushrooms abundant in the world of Mario.

Meanwhile a selection of themed foods, such as the “pancake sandwich” and “fruit cream soda” inspired by Mario and Luigi hats, as well as soft drinks in a special “Super Mushroom Drink Bottle” will be available to visitors. Merchandise such as Mario and Luigi caps and Princess Peach crowns will be available to visitors ahead of the Super Nintendo World’s opening next year.

Nintendo has stated it will be offering up more information on the Super Nintendo World in the coming weeks and months.

Barbie, Star Wars and LEGO Super Mario among leading licenses in Amazon’s top toys for Christmas

Classic and retro licenses including Barbie, Star Wars, Back to the Future and Super Mario have been billed among the top picks for predicted best-selling toys this Christmas by Amazon UK, proving the might of nostalgia in 2020 as we head into the critical Christmas shopping season. is betting big on some of the biggest franchises in the world of children’s entertainment this year, listing Mattel’s Barbie, Spin Master’s PAW Patrol, and MGA Entertainment’s LOL Surprise alongside the likes of Star Wars The Mandalorian, Back to the Future, and the innovative new collaboration between LEGO and Nintendo for LEGO Super Mario.

In fact, Amazon points out that Star Wars continues to be among the top searched keywords for toys on its UK platform, and suggests that ‘kids can’t get enough of the Disney+ original series, Star Wars The Mandalorian. It’s to that end that Star Wars The Mandalorian Bounty Hunter Transport Starship has been listed as a potential best-seller this year, available exclusively on

The Child Animatronic Edition AKA Baby Yoda also takes a top for most lovable character.

Meanwhile, the VTech Kidizoom in red is another Amazon exclusive. A child friendly camera that includes video editing, the HD camera comes with 20 virtual backgrounds, and includes six games.

“We know Christmas is going to be a little different this year, and at Amazon, we are doing everything we can to bring the magic of the festive season to our customers,” said Naman Agarwal, head of vendor management for toys at

“The joy of being with friends and family, in person or virtually, will be the greatest gift of all, and we’re predicting that the bestselling toys will be those that can bring people together. No matter the celebration, we are making a big effort to deliver smiles and make Christmas extra special.”

Amazon’s full list of top toys for Christmas 2020 is:

The Barbie Fresh ‘n’ Fun Food Truck – Mattel

LOL Surprise OMG Remix Plane – MGA Entertainment

LOL Surprise OMG Remix Honeylicious Fashion Doll – MGA Entertainment

Squeakee Interactive Balloon Dog – Moose Toys

Uno Showdown – Mattle Games

KidiZoom Studio – VTech

Star Wars The Mandalorian Bounty Hunter Transport Starship – LEGO

Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition – Hasbro

Back to the Future DeLorean Toy – Playmobil

PAW Patrol Dino Rescure Dino Patroller Motorised Team Vehicle with Exclusive Chase and T-Rex Figures – Spin Master

Present Pets – Spin Master

Super Mario Adventures Starter Course Interactive Figure and Buildable Game – LEGO

BlackMilk partners with Nintendo to launch Super Mario and Animal Crossing: New Horizons collections

The globally loved Nintendo franchises, Super Mario and Animal Crossing: New Horizons are finding a new footing in the fashion world, thanks to a partnership between the video game maker and apparel specialist, Black Milk Clothing.

Renowned for its unique take on licensed collaborations, BlackMilk Clothing is offering gaming fans a new way to express their love for both Super Mario and Animal Crossing through the brand’s signature styles, including leggings, dresses, overalls, and more.

BlackMilk x Super Mario will be the first of the two collections to be released, going live at 7am on October, 6th 2020. The collection features some of the franchise’s favourite characters, including Princess Peach, Yoshi, Bowser and, of course, Mario. It will also feature the game’s iconic power-ups and numerous items. Active wear and unisex pieces are on offer alongside a variety of fun outerwear styles. 

Meanwhile, customers will then be treated to an entirely new collection when BlackMilk x Animal Crossing: New Horizons is released a week later, landing at 7am on October 13th, 2020.

Fans of the Nintendo Switch game will be able to shop a range of pieces featuring their favourite islanders and collectibles. Alongside BlackMilk’s signature bold printed styles, the collection includes designer pieces made with specially created fabrics, such as a unique flocked Timmy and Tommy design. 

BlackMilk is expecting both collection ‘to be hugely popular, with some limited edition pieces likely to sell out fast.’

PAW Patrol, Star Wars and LEGO Nintendo among Argos’ top 12 Toys for Christmas 2020 picks

Argos has revealed its top 12 toys for Christmas 2020 in anticipation of the Christmas toy shopping season and a nation that ‘has rekindled its love for toys,’ through more time spent at home throughout lockdown. Among the top toys, PAW Patrol, Star Wars, and LEGO’s Super Mario collection all feature.

With less than 200 days to go until December 25th, the British store predicts LEGO Lamborghini, Baby Yoda and a pooping flamingo to be among its top sellers this Christmas, while this season will see consumers tap into nostalgia-fuelled shopping driven by the lockdown and time spent at home.

According to research carried out by Argos, more than a fifth of parents plan to gift their child something that conjures memories of their own childhood this year. It goes some way to explain why the likes of Star Wars and LEGO’s Nintendo Super Mario range are among the predicted top sellers for 2020.

Juliet Ward, head of toy buying at Argos, said: “With so much time spent inside during lockdown, the nation has rekindled its love for toys, turning to them now more than ever to keep themselves entertained during what has been a difficult time for many.

‘This year’s top toys list offers a huge variety of new products, ranging from toys inspired by the biggest TV and gaming franchises to bizarre – but crucially, fun – pooping animals.

‘When we craft the list of our top toy predictions for the year, we always try to accurately gauge the “toy crazes” that are set to make thousands of wish lists.

‘This year it’s heartening to see so many toys that will encourage families to spend time together, whether that’s putting together a LEGO Lamborghini or reminiscing over the Mario games of the 80s and 90s.”

An animatronic doll of The Child from The Mandalorian – affectionately known as Baby Yoda – is expected to be one of this year’s biggest hits, joined by the LEGO Adventures with Mario Starter Course, enabling fans to recreate the iconic platform game in brick form.

As Argos’ research goes on to suggest that 40 per cent of parents are set to purchase more toys that encourage active and imaginative play this year, the retailer is firmly tapping into the trend with its Little Live Pets Gotta Go Flamingo that tells kids when it has to sit on its potty. Joining it is the Poopsie Dancing Unicorn.

Familiar faces come in the form of new toys from LOL Surprise and PAW Patrol. Spin Master’s PAW Patrol Dino Rescue Dino Patroller is joined by the LOL Surprise OMG Fashion Dolls Series 3.

The £350 LEGO Technic Lamborghini denotes a desire for the high-end toy lines this year, while the £60 KidiZoom Studio reflects the youth’s lean in to the world of TikTok and YouTube. The list is rounded out with the Hatchimals Pixies Crystal Flyers, and Laser Battle Hunters, promoting active play.