Sorry mums and dads. But it's that time of year again. You know - the one where you lose your mind (and money) trying to get hold of this year's must-have gift. Which your child will play with for a week or two. Before losing interest. Completely. Yes, that's right...IT'S CHRISTMAS!
When I was eight, I asked for a Girl’s World styling head. And didn't get one. Because - according to my parents - Santa didn't make enough for everybody. I dealt with this by cutting the heads off my dolls and making my own. These days, the have-to-have-it Christmas gift is only a click away. When I was a child there was no internet. If parents wanted to buy their child *the* Christmas gift, they had to queue up outside Woolworths (R.I.P).
Sadly, we couldn't queue up outside Woolworths. So instead, we've peered through some virtual windows to bring you 10 toys we think your child will love this Christmas...
elasti plasti slime / age: 5 years +
Yep, just what you've always wanted for Christmas...a big tub of slime. This putty-like substance comes in a collection of unmissable colours and stretches to 100 times its original size. You can throw it on the floor to make funny sounds, or - my own personal favourite - stick a straw in it to blow giant bubbles.
fingerlings / age: 3 years +
Put your hands together for Fingerlings. Clever and cute, these clingy creatures make over 40 different sounds, ranging from burping (nice) to giggling. Each character (I'm loving the unicorn and dragon) wraps around your finger and responds to sound and movement with their very own gestures. Blow them a kiss and they'll blow one right back. Fingerlings even have their own YouTube channel - tune in to witness cult tv in the making.
bosch workbench / age: 3 years +
I bet your child will be better at DIY after 10 minutes with this feature-packed workbench than my boyfriend is after 34 years. It's kitted out with power tools - from drills and hammers to saws and belt sanders. And, because building is hungry work, there's even space for snacks - the secret to good DIY.
pomsies / age: 5 years +
These feline balls of fluff fit in the palm of your hand and have a long tail that wraps around most objects. Stroke your Pomsie to unleash up to 50 different sounds. Dance along to their happy songs and watch out for their colour-changing eyes. You can even take your Pomsie for a walk - wrap its tail around your wrist, ponytail or school bag. Yep, this is one ball of fur worth coughing up for.
hairdorables / age: 5 years +
A collection of doe-eyed dolls with big hair to rival Dolly Parton's. They're smarter than your average piece of plastic, with hobbies that include coding, astronomy and science. Unwrap 11 individual clues to learn the identity of your new doll. Parents will be delighted to learn that there are 36 (yes, 36) to collect.
elc retro diner kitchen / age: 3 years +
Travel back in time to the 1950's with our retro kitchen. It's cherry red, with sleek white surfaces and lots of storage space. Mod cons include a two-ring hob, oven, clicking dials, sink and microwave. So, slip on your horn-rimmed specs, slide into your sling-backs and get ready to flip some burgers.
lego harry potter hogwart's express / age: 8 years +
Ever wondered what it would be like to run headfirst into a wall and find yourself on platform 9¾? Well, now you can. Harry, Hermione and Ron will be waiting on the other side to help you with your luggage. Fancy a snack for the train ride? Pick up a chocolate frog from the Trolley Witch. This set includes a train, platform, accessories and all your favourite characters (watch out for the Dementors). Hogwarts, here we come!
crate creatures / age: 4 years +
Do you remember Boglins? If so, a) you're a fellow child of the 80's (congrats) and b) these monsters will look familiar. Use the crowbar to free your monster from their crate (crime doesn't pay, kids). Pull their tongue to make their eyes glow and record a voice message to hear it played back in a monster's voice. There are also 45 gross noises to listen out for (hurrah, I hear parents cry). And, with names like Snorthog, Sizzle and Pudge, you'll be feeling festive in no time...
fugglers / age: 4 years +
A special entry for Paul who hijacked my lunch-break (green tea and a Curly Wurly) to insist these monsters get a mention. Creepy and deranged-looking (Fugglers, that is, not Paul), these "funny, ugly monsters" have rows of human-like teeth. Names include Wide-Eyed Weirdo, Sir Belch and Sir Horns A Lot…Merry Christmas everybody.
elc happyland farm / age: 2-5 years
Support your local ELC farmer with our retro playset with farmhouse, animal pen, stables and tractor. Meet the Happyland family and their farmyard animals (some of them even make noises - oink oink). See how high your horse can jump over the fence and check to see whether the chicken has laid an egg (free-range, of course).
So, what happens if you can't get hold of *that* Christmas gift? Well...not a lot. Yes, they will be disappointed. But they'll get over it. Look at me - it's been twenty-five years since Santa couldn't be bothered to get out of bed to make me that Girl's World. And I've forgotten all about it. Well, almost…