PEOPLE in Kendal have started their Christmas shopping for the little ones.
Toys are an essential gift at Christmas and this year’s favorites are heavily influenced by internet trends.
Megan Burton, Toyland manager, says toy buying is currently driven by branding strategies: “It all depends on what’s been featured on YouTube or TikTok this month, so we have to keep up with the phases.
“What’s big right now will be gone next month, so it’s difficult for families to keep up.”
The manager mentioned that online trends like squishmallows and kinetic sand are kids’ favorites right now.
However, the classics such as board games, barbie dolls, legos and fictional characters are always smart choices and have sold pretty well this year.
Because of the cost of living, Megan Burton says they’re trying to keep prices the same and bet on sales and discounts.
Post Black Friday, some of their products will still be on sale to give those on a tight budget a chance this year: “This is to support families who are struggling this Christmas and to make things more affordable for everyone .”
However, she mentions that the trending toys “are not affordable right now.”
She added: “Since the 1st of this month we’ve been getting people to buy in advance. With paychecks, it’s easier to distribute. It starts sooner rather than later because of the cost of living.”
Inside the Armstrong Ward store, owner Jacqueline Ward said her Christmas toy sales this year also started earlier this month.
She said: “One of our best sellers is pocket money toys like the sticky snails, which are pretty disgusting but very popular.
“Things for nature, such as Den Building Kits, are fabulous toys that encourage off-screen time, adventure play, and social interactions between children.”
In the wake of the pandemic, the owner said there has been an increase in puzzles and board games to play together as a family in recent years.
The owner has mentioned that she has experienced a price increase: “We have decided that we will keep the price even though our suppliers have increased the price because we realize that it is really important for people to have good value items. To find value for money, especially in pocket money toys.