Toys come in all kinds of wonderful guises these days, and with so much choice, there is every chance of making Christmas that bit more special for the young – and not so young people in your life.
But each year there are always some prized toys that are sought after more than most.
Here are a few that make the top toys of 2018 list, according to those who stock them and the people that buy them.
Again, Harry Potter is high on the list with Hogwarts' Great Hall from Lego. The motion sensitive wizard-training wand at £24.99 is another top choice.
The Smyths Toys Superstores' top toys for Christmas 2018 include classics such as NERF, Paw Patrol and Barbie (toy kitchen), plus new entries from major brands.
Sinead Byrne, joint head of marketing at Smyths Toys said of the selection: "In addition to some familiar items including NERF, Our Generation and Fisher Price, it is great to see new toys in this years list including Poopsie who happens to be a unicorn that poops slime.”
The Smyths top toys list is as follows:
Operation Escape Room
Our Generation Awesome Academy Schoolroom
LOL Surprise! Under wraps!
NERF Laser Ops Alpha two-pack
Fisher Price Rockit
Paw Patrol Ultimate Rescue - Fire Truck
Robot - Boxer
Jurassic World Indoraptor
Bath Bomb - So Bomb
Harry Potter - Hogwarts Great Hall.
Across the toy stores Argos, Amazon, DreamToys, Hamleys, John Lewis, Aldi, eBay, B&M and Toy Fair Heroes, the following feature as tops;
Fingerlings Untamed Dinos, at £16.99. For age five upwards, these WowWee Toys' popular Fingerlings that respond to sound and motion are now all about dinosaurs or unicorns. The Raptors are joined by T Rex. Available from Argos, Amazon and Smyths Toys.
Other interactive toys include LEGO’s Harry Potter Hogwarts Express, £75, recommended by Hamleys for ages eight to 14.
Poopsies Surprise Unicorn, priced £49.99 is a DreamToys recommendation for ages 18 months plus. It combines magical unicorns and slime poo with glitter potty and many other accompaniments.
Slime always holds an attraction to youngsters and Poopsie Slime Surprises come in different sizes which vary in price, from Very and A1 T.
Elast Plasti, is another non-sticky slime option at £13, for ages five plus by Hamleys. It expands by 100 times and lends itself to all kinds of shaping.
A Mini Waitrose Supermarket, for around £45, for three-year olds up, is a choice at John Lewis for budding little shoppers.
And tots of at least a year can open up a Toot-Toot Friends Kingdom Pirate Ship, priced £29.99, to reveal a treasure island, from Smyths’ Toys.
Young teens might like the challenging Monopoly Fortnite edition, at £21.99, that is available from Amazon, Argos and Smyths.
More on the home front with the Barbie Ultimate Kitchen, priced £49.99, that lights up, has cooking sounds, and is ideal for ages four up, from Argos.
Pikmi Pops and Crate Creatures are other names to watch out for, for younger children. And Playmobil has new offerings that are bound to be festive hits.