Revivals of old favourites are on kids' wish lists for Santa this Christmas
AFTER delivering millions of them during the 1990s, Santa Claus probably thought he'd seen the back of the Furby.
But the popular toy has made a comeback – and is more hi-tech than before.
This year, the Furby – of which 40 million were sold between 1996 and 1999 – is the hottest toy on the top of children's Christmas lists.
The new generation of the Furby – priced £59.99 – looks pretty much the same as it did 15 years ago. It is still a robotic pet which speaks "furbish" and needs feeding.
But this time round, it has in-built technology allowing it to be linked to iPods and iPads, so owners can feed their Furby remotely.
David Middleton, managing director of Toy Planet, which has stores in Westfield Derby and Burton, said the revived toys are a big hit this year.
He said: "There are a lot of returns this year – a lot more than usual. They are big business.
"We can't get the Furby in quick enough. As soon as they come in, they fly out again."
The Furby is not the only old favourite making a comeback. Toys parents used to play with, including Lego, Cabbage Patch Kids and Subbuteo, are also popular this year.
Mr Middleton said: "These are all things parents might have had when they were young, so they're reliving their childhoods through their own children.
"Parents want to see the modern twist on the toys they enjoyed as a kid."
Lego sets are flying off the shelves, with a new Lord of the Rings version launching just in time for the new Hobbit film.
The Mines of Moria (£59.99) and the Battle of Helm's Deep (£99.99) are popular choices with children of all ages.
David said that the launch of a girls' range of Lego was also proving to be a "move in the right direction".
He said: "There has been a need for girly Lego for many years.
"This Christmas has seen the launch of the 'Friends' range, with houses, bakeries and stables appealing to the young ladies.
"Lego and Cabbage Patch Kids are timeless and will never go out of fashion.
"Children and parents alike will always recognise them."
The Entertainer, another toy store in Westfield, said parents were buying brands that they knew and could rely on.
Alex Austen, the store's manager, said the V-Tech Innotab (£84.99) – a children's tablet computer – was in big demand, along with Leapfrog LeapPad 2 (£89.99).
He said: "While some of these items are quite expensive, they are well-known brands that people know they can trust, so they are willing to spend the extra money."
Nerf Elite Hail-Fire (£44.99) – a foam dart game – is popular with the boys, as are the super hero-themed toys which are always popular after a big blockbuster hit – like the Spiderman dual web blaster (£23).
The Moshi Monsters – toys that go along with an online game that allows children to adopt their own monster – have been selling well all year round.
And Mr Austen said its winter range, which has recently been launched, is popular.
He said: "The My Moshi Home (£39.99), a house where children can have all their monsters living, is very popular. They appeal to boys and girls and everyone's got them in the playground. Kids always want what their friends already have."
Jake and the Neverland Pirates – Pirate Ship Bucky, (£39.99) and Mike the Knight's Deluxe Glendragon (£29.99) play sets are spin-offs from popular children's television shows.
Mr Austen said: "Toys that are available from shows that children recognise are always very popular."
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are also going to be a big hit, according to Toy Planet. The Christmas range will be launched in the store a week ahead of other toy shops in Derbyshire on Saturday.
Mr Middleton said: "Only ten stores in the country are having the launch early. The turtles are massive at the moment with a new show on Nickelodeon. On launch day, we are holding a costume competition where kids can come dressed up as their favourite turtle. The winner will receive an exclusive action figure for their efforts."