Our writers test and research products independently. When you buy through a link on our site we may earn a commission but this never affects our product choices.
Is your child's list for Santa already three pages long? Is the thought of sifting through the thousands of toys on sale for Christmas this festive season making you want to put your head under the pillow until January? Fear not, we’ve got you covered with our wide selection of this year's best Christmas toys - from 90s nostalgia toys to 2023's hottest toy trends.
We’ve rigorously researched the best Christmas toys for 2023, including the trending toys which all the kids want, the most likely bestsellers, the best options under £20 for those essential stocking fillers, tech toys, preschool toys and more! If you're shopping for older kids, don't miss our page rounding up the best Christmas presents for teenagers, and check out our Advent calendar and LEGO Advent calendar round-ups while you're at it.
We’ve combed through the latest toy prediction stats from top toy retailers including John Lewis, The Entertainer, Smyths and Argos, and manufacturers such as Mattel and Hasbro. We’ve also taken a deep dive into the Mumsnet Christmas forums for inspiration from the UK’s largest network of parents to see which toys they are buying this year and which ones they'd recommend or avoid based on previous experience.
From the new and improved Furby to must-have toys inspired by the latest hit movies (Barbie, The Little Mermaid, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PAW Patrol, Polly Pocket and Super Mario to name but a few), here are the top toys to buy for Christmas 2023 - including big savings to be had right now!
Best Christmas Toys 2023: predicted bestsellers
The best Christmas toys: big savings on trending toys
Barbie is set to be a pretty big seller this Christmas (and for the best Barbie bargains, don't miss our dedicated Black Friday Barbie deals page) perhaps unsurprising given the hit movie of the same name, but it's not the only blockbuster-inspired addition to the best Christmas toys for 2023. Following the recent release of PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie this autumn and a Polly Pocket film also in the pipeline, it's not all about the doll with the Dreamhouse.
The best Christmas toys 2023: up to 50% off big brands
Nostalgic toys are big this year - with John Lewis revealing searches for 'retro' have gone up by 72% compared with last year. The biggest news here is the re-launch of Furby, the popular interactive 90s toy has undergone a makeover but is still instantly recognisable. Features include voice command, over 600 responses and a range of new accessories. Best of all, it's currently 27% off at £55 (RRP: £70).
Joining Furby in the list of predicted bestsellers currently on sale are new releases and old favourites from Hot Wheels, Barbie, Gabby's Dollhouse and LEGO - with many toys heavily discounted as the festive shopping season continues.
Best Christmas Toys under £20
Best Christmas Toys under £20: at a glance
Best LEGO set under £20 - now 10% off
LEGO Creator 3-in-1
Parrot to Frog to Fish Set
With the current cost of living crisis, budgets are stretched more than ever this Christmas. "We know that increased costs of living will be playing on families' minds this Christmas," explained Argos Head of Toy Buying Fay Williams. "We've made sure to include a variety of toys that offer great value whatever your budget, interest or play passion."
More of the best Christmas toys under £20
Little Pocket Bear Hug... £8| Buy now from Amazon
MGA's Miniverse - Make it Mini Food: Diner... £8 | Buy now from Amazon
Chad Valley Trevor Talk Back Dino... £9 | Buy now from Argos
Connect 4... £10 | Buy now from Amazon
2 for £20: Squishmallows Drew the Mint Dragon... £13 | Buy now from Argos
Play-Doh Super Colour 20 Pack... £15 | Buy now from Amazon
Fingerlings Monkey Pink - Harmony... £15 | Buy now from Amazon
Best Christmas toys: best LEGO sets 2023
With sets inspired by everything from Star Wars to Harry Potter, LEGO is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser when it comes to the best Christmas toys for kids aged four and above. With so much on offer and a lot on sale right now (why not check out our guide to the best Black Friday LEGO deals for more inspiration) it's hard to choose just one particular set which comes out on top. Here are a few more new releases and old favourites:
LEGO Dots Message Board | £17 | Buy now from Amazon
LEGO City Train Station | £70 | Buy now from Amazon
LEGO Minecraft The Skeleton Dungeon Set | £26 | Buy now from Amazon
LEGO Ideas BTS Dynamite Music Video Set | £90 | Buy now from Very
LEGO Harry Potter Expecto Patronum 2-in-1 Set | £48 | Buy now from Very
Best Christmas toys 2023: Barbie
Mine developed a love of Barbie from nowhere at Christmas!
The 2023 Barbie film has sent sales predictions for the Mattel fashion doll through the roof this Christmas. While the newly-released 2023 Barbie Dreamhouse (pictured above), designed with the film's iconic real-life dreamhouse in mind, has been heavily discounted from £350 down to £200, it's still quite a hefty investment. Luckily, there are plenty of other dreamhouses for less, including the 2021 edition (above) currently priced at £170 and the Barbie Estate House which is half price at £90 from Argos at the moment. Check out our dedicated Barbie deals page for more big savings on everything Barbie.
Here's our pick of the best of the rest Barbie toys to buy this Christmas, from new releases to old favourites:
Barbie Pop Reveal Fruit Series Doll | £19 | Buy now from Amazon
Barbie Extra Doll | £26 | Buy now from Amazon
Barbie Camper Doll Playset with 50 Accessories | £93 | Buy now from Amazon
Barbie Dreamtopia Rainbow Magic Mermaid | £18 | Buy now from Amazon
Barbie Extra Fly Snow Fashion Travel Doll and accessories | £23 | Buy now from Very
Barbie Gymnastics Playset | £35 | Buy now from Argos
Best Christmas toys: our pick of top tech
Best tech toys for Christmas 2023
My three have [the Meta Quest 2] and it's the most used gift for two of them, they absolutely love it.
Tech toys are always among the best Christmas toys, particularly for older children and/or teenagers (which is why it has its own sub-section in this year's Mumsnet guide to the best Christmas gifts for teens!). Although the latest gaming consoles, tablets and gadgets can set you back a few hundred, they can be good investments and offer the opportunity for plenty of add-on gifts in the form of games. Tech is a bit of an umbrella term and it can be very easy to get lost down a rabbit-hole of different options, from smart speakers to smartwatches, phones, laptops and cameras. Check out our dedicated buyers' guides for more specific rankings: Best Kids' Smartwatch | Best Kids' Camera | Best Kids' Headphones | Best Phone for Kids | Best Laptops for Kids.
Here's our pick of the best tech toys for Christmas 2023:
Nintendo Switch OLED | £291 | Buy now from Amazon
Gilobaby Voice Control Robot | £21 | Buy now from Amazon
VTech Kidizoom Duo Camera 5.0 | £45 | Buy now from Amazon
Yoto Mini player and Starter Pack Bundle | £80 | Buy now from Amazon
Tonies Toniebox Starter Pack | £78 | Buy now from Amazon
PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller | £60 | Buy now from Very
Best character toys for Christmas 2023
Best Christmas toys: character toys up to 40% off
I've got Paw Patrol stuff for my 4 yo.
Character toys are always a hugely popular choice with kids at Christmas, and thanks to the latest hit TV shows such as Gabby's Dollhouse and movies including PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, Disney's The Little Mermaid and Super Mario Bros, there are plenty of toys to choose from in this particular category. Thankfully, there are also some good bargains to be had too if your child isn't fussy about having the latest thing. Our top-ranking PAW Patrol toy from last year, for example, has come down from £100 to just £32: PAW Patrol Big Truck Pups Truck Stop.
Here are somemore popular character toys for Christmas 2023:
Gabby's Dollhouse Purrfect Dollhouse | Was £80, now £47 | Buy now from Amazon
Jurassic World Dominion Ocean Protector Mosasaurus | Was £42, now £30 | Buy now from Amazon
Disney Buzz Lightyear Interactive Action Figure | £35 | Buy now from Amazon
PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie Toy Car with Chase | £12 | Buy now from Amazon
LEGO Disney The Little Mermaid Story Book | £16 | Buy now from Amazon
Best board games for Christmas 2023
Best family board games: Christmas 2023
Firstly, if you're on the hunt for a good family board game either to play at Christmas or to give as a gift for your favourite board game enthusiast, check out our recently-updated guide to the best family board games. If board games are to Christmas as chocolate is to Easter and you already have all the greats on your shelf, there are plenty of newly-released expansion packs to old favourites such as Exploding Kittens, Herd Mentality, even more retro board games such as HeroQuest. Whether you're looking for something to enhance a pre-existing board game on Christmas day or are looking for something brand new, check out our picks below for the best family board games for Christmas 2023:
Best Soft Toys for Christmas 2023
Best soft toys: Christmas 2023
Best soft toy with accessories
Little Live Pets
Mama Surprise Guinea Pig Playset
Best soft toy and baking combo
Cookeez Makery Oven
Mix & Make a Plush Best Friend
My DDs love Squishmallows. They like the 30cm or 40cm, they are massive but very comfy as pillows too.
Who doesn't remember their favourite Christmas teddy? Squishmallows are proving as popular as ever this year, with some good deals available at Argos (2 for £20) and Amazon. Last year's super-popular Little Live Pets Mama Surprise Guinea Pig is predicted to be a bestseller once again - this year there is a Mouse and Bunny available too! Taking the prize for the slightly random, what-will-they-think-of-next toy is the Cookeez Makery Oven Mix & Make a plush best friend - kids can mix ingredients into a dough, pop it into a play oven and out pops an interactive soft toy which warms up when it's cuddled. It even smells like cookies. What's not to like?
Here's our pick of the best soft toys for Christmas 2023:
Little Live Pets - My Puppy's Home | £35 | Buy now from Argos
Squishmallow 12 inch - Melrose the Cassoway | £15 | Buy now from Argos
Snackles series 1 - Bear with Hersheys | £20 | Buy now from Amazon
Pokemon Plush Figures | £21 | Buy now from Amazon
Misfittens Surprise Cat Plush | £12 | Buy now from Amazon
Squishville Mini Squishmallows | £17 | Buy now from Amazon
Best Christmas toys for preschoolers 2023
Best Toys for Preschoolers: Christmas 2023
Pretend play is always forefront for toddlers and preschoolers, so it's no surprise that the hottest Christmas toys for kids this age have a strong role-play theme. Our pick of the best Christmas toys for preschoolers have fun and imaginative play in mind, as well as sensory and educational development.
What toys will be hot for Christmas 2023?
The most in-demand toys for Christmas 2023 are predicted to be a mixture of re-imagined nostalgic favourites such as Furby and Barbie, on-trend character toys such as Gabby's Dollhouse dolls and playsets, The Little Mermaid and PAW Patrol toys and new/old favourite offerings from trusted toy brands including LEGO and Chad Valley. We've made every effort to take into account all tastes and budgets when compiling the above listings, and will be updating this page regularly as the festive shopping season continues.
When should you begin shopping for Christmas 2023?
For one of the most popular toys, you may want to consider buying sooner rather than later. Whilst prices can fluctuate on the run-up to Christmas, it's unlikely you’ll see any huge discounts on toys that are selling fast. You can sign up for price alerts and notifications across stores such as Amazon and Argos, however, there is a genuine risk that the most in-demand items will sell out long before December. If the toy is at the top of your child’s Santa wishlist, you may not want to take that risk.
Should I order Christmas toys online?
Ordering online can certainly take the pressure out of Christmas shopping and allows you to pick up your toys discreetly and without having the kids in tow. Many brands offer free postage with a minimum spend, so when you factor in the cost of parking at your local shopping centre, it’s often the cheaper option too.
A word of warning, however - be careful if you have an Alexa at home. Whilst notifications are hidden when ordering close to Christmas, this isn't done as standard in earlier months. Be careful surprises aren't ruined by curious kids!
How can I save money on Christmas toys?
Firstly, check out our dedicated Black Friday toys deals page.
Shop around. Toys can vary in price between retailers so it's worth checking a few sites before committing to your choice, factoring in any additional postage charges and delivery time frames before you checkout.
This Christmas, you may want to set a budget and stick to it. Remember that for many young children, too many toys can be overwhelming. You can most likely cut back without reducing their level of enjoyment.
Many families are also making kids aware of the cost of living crisis, explaining that even Father Christmas’s budgets may be a little tighter this year.
Where can I donate toys this Christmas?
There’s no doubt that this Christmas is going to be tough for many families. If you’d like to help others have a magical Christmas, you can donate toys to others using the following schemes:
Birmingham Children’s Hospital - to purchase toys for sick kids who will be in hospital this Christmas - Amazon’s Wishlist for Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Salvation Army Christmas Present Appeal - donating new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children who might not otherwise receive a Christmas present. Find your local centre here.
Kids Out Charity - for kids seeking refuge from domestic abuse. Learn more here.
Action for Children - Annual Secret Santa to help a vulnerable child. Learn more here.
What’s the best Christmas toy this year?
Because there is no one-size-fits-all and one child's Barbie Dreamhouse is another child's lump of coal, we've avoided giving out a 'best overall' accolade this year - our pick of the best toys, from the trendy to the traditional are as follows:
Best on-trend toy: Furby
Best budget toy: Trevor Talk Back Dino
Best LEGO set: Dobby the House-Elf Set
Best tech toy: Bitzee Interactive Digital Pet
Best soft toy: Mint the Dragon Squishmallow
About the author
Jenny Wonnacott is a Content Editor for Mumsnet, specialising in writing, editing and optimising several content pages related to parenting, pregnancy and more. As a parent of three primary school-aged children, Jenny is passionate about making Mumsetters' lives easier through rigorous research of all items recommended in reviews and buyers' guides such as this one.
How we chose our recommendations
We scoured the newly released Christmas 2023 toy prediction lists from top toy retailers Argos and John Lewis as well Amazon's most wished for pages and cross-referenced with recommendation from Mumsnetters about what they are planning to buy for Christmas 2023. We looked for parents discussing both toys that their children already owned and had brought lots of pleasure as well as the things that were featured on Christmas lists for this year. We put together a list of the items that appeared most regularly across the board as well as some insider industry knowledge to come up with this list of the best Christmas toys for 2023.
Why you should trust us
Mumsnet’s Talk boards have been the place for parents to come to discuss their Christmas List Plan of Attack for more than two decades. Our members are excellent at coming up with ideas and coming up with the goods in terms of hints and tips on where and when to find the best deals.
Here at Mumsnet HQ we have excellent links with all the biggest shops and manufacturers too, so always have our eye on what’s new and which products are going to be the biggest toys in Christmas list terms.