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New Trends in Christmas Toys: Question vs. Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Dog Among the Most Popular Gifts

Summary

The holiday season is a time when retailers hope for increased sales while facing the challenges of an economic crisis that brings high living costs. However, on the annual DreamToys list compiled by the Toy Retailers Association, twelve gifts under […]

New Trends in Christmas Toys: Question vs. Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Dog Among the Most Popular Gifts

The holiday season is a time when retailers hope for increased sales while facing the challenges of an economic crisis that brings high living costs. However, on the annual DreamToys list compiled by the Toy Retailers Association, twelve gifts under 50 pounds have made the cut. One of them is Pictionary vs. Artificial Intelligence (£24), a new version of the popular board game that pits artificial intelligence against the poor drawings of humans.

The cheapest toy on the list is the Squishmallow, priced at 9 pounds, and it is expected to sell in huge numbers again this year. One of the more expensive options is “Dog-E” (£90), a robotic dog with over 200 sounds and reactions, aiming to take the world of robotic pets to a whole new level.

Aware that many Britons are facing financial difficulties, Paul Reader, chairman of the selection committee, stated that the list focuses on “mainstream” toys but includes products that suit “every budget.” The average toy sold last Christmas cost 13 pounds, and this year’s prices are expected to be roughly the same.

However, the industry is grappling with consumer distrust. According to a recent survey, over one third of Britons expect Christmas to be more expensive this year. As a result, almost one fifth have already started purchasing gifts to spread out the cost, while 14% have discussed reducing the exchange of presents with loved ones.

Furthermore, Reader stated that independent toy stores have seen increased interest in their Christmas savings club programs, which allow customers to regularly set aside money to spread out the expenses. “More products have been added to savings programs,” he said.

The gloomy economic outlook is bad news for retailers who have already had a memorable year, seeing an 8% decline in the sales of video games, dolls, and action figures in the first 10 months of this year compared to 2022. Overall sales have declined by 5%.

Reader expressed hope that a strong end to the year will enable retailers to at least match last year’s sales. However, analysts are pessimistic about achieving these goals, considering the challenging business conditions, as evidenced by the fact that some of the listed items have already been discounted.

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