Need Christmas ideas for your younger siblings? Look no further.

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Ah, Christmas. It’s an expensive time of year for anyone, but for students whose overdrafts are already crying enough, that sentiment is especially true.

And then there’s the time it takes to find presents, especially when you’ve got four different lecturers expecting work the other side of the festive celebrations. Well, for those with younger siblings, nephews and nieces, listen up. We might just save you some time.

DreamToys have released their much anticipated Christmas list for 2016, detailing the must have toys to get this Christmas.

An initiative run by the Toy Retailers Association since 2010, the annual list is compiled by large and small retailers and is usually referenced as the start of the countdown to Christmas with past favourites including toys from Star Wars, Frozen and Nerf.

This year, the list features a creature that hatches from an egg before you play with it, a selfie stick/microphone combo and a sausage shaped family fun game.

With 12 toys on the list, there are always a wide range of products on show, something that the chairman of the DreamToys committee recognises. ‘The list is incredibly diverse,’ said Gary Grant, who spearheads the lists organisation. ‘With familiar names appearing alongside some clever innovations…these toys will be on Christmas wish lists up and down the country,’ he said.

One toy, Hatchimals, is already in incredibly short supply, due to high demand. The toy starts off within a plastic egg which youngsters have to touch, rub and tap before the creature, scarily resembling a Furby, emerges from its shell. After half-an-hour of play, you can help nurture the touch responsive toy by teaching it how to walk, talk and play games. Although it might set you back £60, it’ll no doubt be on many children’s Christmas lists this year.

Another toy is a kit that helps you create your own music video. The £20 SelfieMic from Worlds Apart is a combination of a selfie stick, karaoke microphone and an earpiece. Decked in pink, the product also directs you to an app with thousands of songs for you to choose from, so you can make your own music videos.

Perhaps the most peculiar idea on the list, comes in the form of a butcher’s sausage. Silly Sausage, created by John Adams Leisure Ltd, is a family fun game where players respond to commands from a foot-long red plastic sausage. For instance, twist me, shake me, poke me, stretch me and dip me are just some of the commands players must obey to win. Priced at £20, the game has come under some recent criticism for its phallic undertones, particularly on Mumsnet where one user commented ‘OMG…I could never let a group of small children play with that!’

After the release of the John Lewis Christmas Advert yesterday, we are certainly on the countdown to Christmas.

The remainder of the list can be found at http://www.toyretailersassociation.co.uk/dreamtoys/2016/top12

Matt Jones

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