Top Christmas toys by year

From Playmobil and Lego to Furby’s, every year there’s a new ‘must have’ toy that flies off the shelves during the festive period. Our personal finance experts uncover how the price for the Christmas must-have toys has evolved over the last decade.
Share this guide
Picture of Christmas presents and a teddy bear by a Christmas tree

This year demand for toys sits at an all-time high, as new blockbusters such as Paw Patrol inspire new popular trends.  

If you’re looking to spread the cost of your Christmas shopping, you may want to consider one of our 0% interest credit cards.

Our personal finance experts have dived into the toy vault over the last 10 years to calculate just how much the cost of Christmas for parents has changed. The analysis also highlights which toy brands reign supreme in the top spots year on year. 

What are the must-have toys this Christmas? 

 Pester power is a nightmare for parents trying to stick to a Christmas budget, so our experts have totted up the total amount needed to purchase the must-have toys this Christmas.

This year's DreamToys according to The Toy Retailer Association and their recommended retail price. 

Updated 3 December 2021
2021 must-have toysRRP (£)
Barbie™ Dreamtopia Rainbow Magic™ Mermaid£24.99
Bluey Family Home Playset£39.99
CoComelon Deluxe JJ Interactive Doll£39.99
Gassy Gus£24.99
Hot Wheels® Massive Loop Mayhem™ Track Set£54.99
Jurassic World Slash 'n Battle Scorpios Rex£31.99
L.O.L. Surprise! Movie Magic Doll Asst£10.99
LEGO Star Wars Boba Fett’s Starship£44.99
Little Live Pets - Piggly£24.99
Magic Mixies£69.99
PAW Patrol Chase's Deluxe Transforming Vehicle£44.99
Pokemon 8" Plush (Asst)£13.99

The top must-have toys each year for the last decade 

Each year Toy Retailers Association releases their DreamToys, the ‘must-have’ toys for that Christmas, which are decided by a panel of retailers to encourage gift givers not to leave purchases to the last minute. 

Our experts have researched the total cost of DreamToys from the year of their release. They’ve also revealed how much the cost has increased due to inflation if they were released in 2021. 

How has the price of Christmas must-have toys changed over the years?

Updated 3 December 2021
DreamToys by year Grand total of DreamToys Total cost after inflationDifference (£)

Christmas is a very expensive time of year - especially for parents who are working hard to track down must-have toys before they sell out. By analysing the must-have DreamToys from 2011 to 2021 they reveal how price differs and the year the must-have toys cost the most.  

2015 was found to be the most expensive year with the must-have toys totalling £714.88. Closely followed by 2012 at a total cost of £653.87. This year is revealed as the cheapest for must-have toys at just £426.88, on average must-have toys, this year are costing parents £35.57. 

In the lead up to Christmas, we often see inflation changes, the research shows that if the must-have toys of 2011 were released today, we would see a £180.12 increase in overall cost. 

Toy Associations DreamToys of each year of the last decade

DreamToys over the last decade, their RRP at time and price today after inflation

The UK’s most in demand toy brand 

The analysis reveals that leading toy brand Hasbro is the most in demand toy brand of the decade with its name appearing 24 times in the must-have toy lists over the last 10 years, with toys such as Let’s Rock Elmo, Furby’s and Nerf guns. Mattel comes in 2nd place appearing 17 times and the brands’ Barbie doll featuring 8 times. Following closely behind is Character Options with 16 appearances with toys such as Fireman Sam in 2011, minecraft figures in 2014. 

Overspending at Christmas 

It can be all too easy to overspend at Christmas trying to make sure you give your loved ones the best time ever. It’s important you don’t find yourself falling into the debt trap and struggle to provide for yourself or your family because you’ve been too generous on one day of the year. If you haven’t saved enough in advance, be savvy with your spending and if you really do need to borrow research the cheapest way possible.

Source discount codes to help reduce spend: Before you even start on your Christmas purchases, it’s a good idea to scour the web to see if you can find any discount codes to bring the cost of your purchases down. Some major retailers will offer you a 5-15% discount on your first purchase if you sign up to their email newsletter, which you can always unsubscribe from at a later date. 

Use up any existing gift cards: Another great way to save on your Christmas shopping is to cash in on any unused gift cards you have lying around the house. Shops can make millions from people spending money on gift cards that are never used, which is why they always have an expiry date on them. Make sure you redeem them before they expire so you don’t lose out.

Benefit from reward schemes and any points accrued over the year: Reward schemes for retailers offer points that you can use in store. If you’ve been scanning and collecting all year, you might be pleasantly surprised by how many rewards you have to spend. With only six weeks to go until Christmas, now is the perfect time to cash in on all your 2020 spending.

Find the best credit card for you, whether you're looking for 0% card for balance transfers or purchases or day to day spending and rewards


About James Andrews 

James is our senior personal finance editor and has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news. He has previously written for ReachPLC, was money editor of Mirror Online and Yahoo Finance UK, and has recently been quoted in City AM, Liverpool Echo and Daily Record as well as featured on national radio shows TalkRadio and the BBC

View James Andrews’ full biography here or visit the press centre for our latest news.

About James Andrews

View James Andrews's full biography here or visit the press centre for our latest news.