Following the tough financial year due to the pandemic, parents are perhaps looking to spend a little less than usual at Christmas and save some pennies.
And thankfully it appears kids are in agreement, with simple, cheaper festive buys largely coming out on top in Phillip Schofield‘s How To Spend It Well At Christmas, which aired tonight on ITV.
The London-based presenter, 57, explored the toys topping youngsters’ yuletide wish lists – with a Classic Lego set, costing £17.99, claiming top spot against its modern counterpart, a Mario themed digital game (£49.99), in the Classic vs Reboot round.
Phillip asked families, children and even a few famous faces, such as Joe Swash and Maura Higgins, to also test out the best outdoor, interactive and boardgame offerings.
Finally, Phillip’s top must-haves included the Gotta Go Flamingo (£32.99), which goes to the toilet after being ‘fed’, the Kickerball (£14.99), that flies through the air in a curve and the FR1 80 In-Line rollerblades costing £224.99.
Simple, cheaper festive buys largely came out on top in Phillip Schofield’s (pictured) How To Spend It Well At Christmas, which aired tonight on ITV
The London-based presenter, 57, explored the toys topping youngsters’ yuletide wish lists – with a Classic Lego set (pictured), costing £17.99, claiming top spot against its modern counterpart, a Mario themed digital game (£49.99), in the Classic vs Reboot round
CLASSIC VS REBOOT GAMES
Overall winner – Classic Lego set (£17.99)
The winners of each category tested on Phillip Schofield’s How To Spend It Well At Christmas
Classic Vs Reboot games – Classic Lego set (£17.99)
Board games – Pencil Nose (£14.99)
Interactive toys – Gotta Go Flamingo (£32.99)
Skates – FR1 80 In-Line rollerblades (£224.99)
Ball games – KickerBall (£14.99)
‘Apparently everyone loves the classics, so retro is in,’ Phillip explained, adding that while we’ve been in lockdown nostalgia has hit and older games are now back in fashion.
‘Earlier this year, old favourites Monopoly, Cluedo and Uno took top spots in the best seller lists.
‘So this Christmas it seems toy producers have put a twist on popular classics rather than launch new games,’ he added.
Phillip headed to a British school to ask eight pupils to test out six games – three classic toys and their modern versions.
These included the Rubik’s Cube (£12.99) and the new Rubik’s Tilk (£29.99), which is a digitised style of the game.
However, the modern toy failed to impress the children, with the class voting in favour of the traditional cube. One child explained: ‘I like it but it’s a bit too complicated, I can’t work it out.’
Next up was Lego, with a classic bricks and house set, priced at £17.99, going up against a Super Mario themed digital pack (£49.99).
Being the most expensive game in the category, the app-based toy saw the children build a real-life track before it was transferred onto the IPad where they could try it out and score points.
‘I’m not really a big fan of it, because if you don’t have an IPad, or anything to connect it to, it’s not going to work,’ one pupil admitted, before the class named the Classic Lego set the winner between the two toys.
A bucket of plasticine (£6.99) went up against the Plasticine Movie Maker Studio (£9.99) next, with the children able to create a scene and capture it on their device with the latter toy.
This was the only time a reboot won against its classical version. However, overall the children said their favourite toy was the Classic Lego set.
Overall winner – Pencil Nose (£14.99)
For the board games category, four families tested a selection with the help of Christopher Biggins, and Pencil Nose (pictured) won top place
For the board games category, four families tested a selection with the help of Christopher Biggins.
First up, was the £19.99 Drone Home, that saw families aim to get their plastic aliens to safety with the help of the drone, and without the item throwing out the pieces.
‘It’s so satisfying watching it take off,’ said one child testing out the kid. ‘Personally, I think it’s the best game I’ve ever played.’ However, another argued: ‘I think it was really fun but I think it’s a one trick pony.’
Pose off (£14.99) was then tried, which involves the families performing yoga poses on a mat while answering questions. If you fall off you’re out.
The most expensive game, Hands Full, costing £24.99, was next. Participants have to hold onto the device while also performing the moves it tells you to do. Whoever lets go of the item first is the loser.
Pencil Nose (£14.99) was the final game to be tested and involved plastic glasses which featured a holder for a pen on your nose.
One participant was tasked with drawing products using their nose while others guessed what the sketch was supposed to show.
‘From the time you put on the pen glasses, you’re laughing,’ a mother insisted, before the group declared Pencil Nose the overall winner.
Overall winner – Gotta Go Flamingo (£32.99)
Phillip’s top must-haves included the Gotta Go Flamingo (pictured) (£32.99), which goes to the toilet after being ‘fed’
‘Toys that help develop social skills are expected to be big business this Christmas. That means my interactive friends are back again,’ explained Phillip.
Presenter Angellica Bell headed to a British primary school to see which worked best with a class from Year 2, admitting: ‘Us parents cannot afford to make expensive mistakes so I’ve brought in the experts.’
The first to be tested was Gotta Go Flamingo (£32.99), which devours magic glitter before sitting on a plastic toilet filled with water and releasing a stool.
A Baby Alive Doll (£49.99) was second to be tried out by the children and appeared to be another favourite.
The interactive doll transforms from newborn to baby to big girl thanks to kids’ care. With the first bottle feed she opens her eyes and after rocking, she kicks out of her swaddle blanket.
Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition (£59.99) was next but failed to impress the pupils since all it did was ‘make noise and shut its eyes’.
‘Considering this is the most expensive toy the interactivity is really low. They really want to enjoy it but the buzz isn’t there like with other toys,’ explained the class’ teacher.
Squeaky (£59.99), a plastic balloon-looking dog, was next to be tested and was a hit thanks to the number of movements it made.
But topping the children’s wish list this Christmas was the Gotta Go Flamingo.
Overall winner – FR1 80 In-Line rollerblades (£224.99)
R1 80 In-Line rollerblades costing £224.99, pictured, were ranked top in the skates category
Outdoor toys appeared next on the programme and skating is making a comeback, with the market exploding, according to the show.
To test three products, Dancing On Ice’s professional skater Matt Evers was joined by three former contestants, magician Ben Hanlin, Love Island’s Maura Higgins and TV presenter Joe Swash.
While Matt had tried each of the items, Ben sported FR1 80 In-Line rollerblades costing £224.99, which were ‘safe and really secure but a little noisey’, according to the skater.
They were voted top in the category, while Maura wore Roller Derby Women’s Aerio Q-80 Inline Skates (£99.99), which came in at last place for the ‘lack of ankle support’ it offered.
Joe had on Oxelo rollerblades (£64), alongside Matt, who said: ‘The ride is really smooth, there’s no sound. I would potentially like a little more support.’
Overall winner – KickerBall (£14.99)
KickerBall (£14.99) (pictured), which has ‘special panels and aerodynamic materials that channel air in ways your standard football ball can’t’, according to creators
The final category to be explored on the programme was different kind of playing balls available.
An Under 10s football team was tasked with testing out three different products, including the Mega Bounce (£20). At 2.5 metres wide, the huge bouncy ball appeared to be a hit with the children.
The second item was the KickerBall (£14.99), which has ‘special panels and aerodynamic materials that channel air in ways your standard football ball can’t’, according to creators.
The Smart Ball football (£24.99) was the final entry to the competition and informed the children of the speed in which the sent the toy flying after each kick.
However, the overall winner for the football team was the KickerBall.