As the holiday season fast approaches, children across the country will be eagerly awaiting the moment they get to unwrap their presents. The joy of gift giving to children is such a treasured experience, and nothing tops seeing their faces as they unwrap their presents.
Our newly appointed toy testers – the Amazon Playmakers - have stepped in to help Aussies choose the best gift for their littlest loved ones by testing and reviewing Amazon Australia’s 2022 Top 100 Holiday Toy List.
Now in its fourth year, our Playmakers were selected from across the country in partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation, who work to brighten the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children across the country.
From Pokémon, Barbie Dreamhouses, Little Live Pets, DJ beat boxers to toys classics, such as Playdough, our 10 inspiring Playmakers, have been putting a selection of the top 100 toys through their paces and giving them their tick of approval to enter the list.
Check out the trends taking Australia by storm and some of the reviews from the Playmakers:
90s to Noughties Nostalgia: From the reboots of early 90s and 2000s TV series, to throwback accessories including the bejewelling come-back. Bringing back nostalgic pastimes has become a big post-pandemic mood, from Pokemon and an epic Barbie Dream House in a classic 2000’s pastel pink colour to Home Alone LEGO - this toy trend is one that Millennial parents are sure to get involved with.
Toys on a Budget: Australians are looking for value more than ever this year, with savvy shoppers on the hunt for budget friendly options. From Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza and Cocomelon Roto Plush Snacktime JJ Doll, to Eraser Maker, these are games which can be enjoyed by all for under $50*.
Rainy Day Fun: After a year of unpredictable weather, and another wet summer expected ahead for much of the country, kids have learnt to adapt by moving outdoor play inside with the help of trusty favourites including Nerf, John Deere Dump Truck and Little Live pets.
“The Monopoly Around the World Tour board game was my favourite as I like the competitive nature of board games and most especially beating my brother to travel the world.”
When I Grow Up: Toys are often a child’s first foray into a passion, hobby, or activity that stays with them as they grow into adults. Parents are recognising this and looking for toys that encourage children to discover their talents and passions through the world of make believe and role play. With a DJ Beat Boxer toy, Emma’s Art School and a Horse Show Trailer, kids can be whoever they want to be and experience the most exciting of adventures.
“Isla loves dressing up in fancy twirling dresses which is why she loved getting creative with her nails using the Cool Maker Go Glam U-Nique Nail Salon and feeling like a princess.”
To the MetaVerse and Beyond: With the meteoric rise of games such as Roblox and Minecraft, coupled with a fascination in alternate and virtual universes, families will no doubt be adding tech, gaming and space-based toys to their child’s wish lists this year. From KidiWatch and MineCraft games to LEGO Star Wars and the Space Academy Game, watch your kids take off into orbit as they go forth to discover the next universe.
Curious Kids: With play-based learning tools becoming an increasing favourite amongst parents and teachers, a rising number of new toys are being developed to support children’s development. From a talking microscope featuring Bindi Irwin to a coding starter kit compatible with an iPad, these games are bound to keep the kids busy and wanting to learn more for hours.
“Eden loves playing with hot wheels, construction toys and all emergency service superheroes. His favourite toy from this year’s list is the Hot Wheels Jurassic World Strike 'n Roar Giant Dino.”
From Toy Testers to Toy Movie Makers
This year, the Playmakers were given a new role and a chance to let their imaginations run wild by creating a stop-motion movie featuring some of the toys from the top 100 Holiday toy list. The Playmakers were asked to create characters behind the toys; a plot which the toys would star in; and the dialogue to share the joy of the Holidays and deliver smiles to children across Australia.
In the film, toys such Hatchimals Pixies, the Rubix Cube and Hot Wheels Jurassic Dino, become the characters, and are voiced by the Playmakers alongside well-loved Australian talent. Former Hi-5 children’s TV star Charli Robinson will be the voice behind a somewhat mischievous Interactive Mama guinea pig, and Aussie entertainment legend Johnny Ruffo will lend his renowned voice to the character of a naughty pirate from the TOMY Pop Up Pirate Action Game.
Keep an eye out for the film’s release in mid-November, Amazon Australia will donate an additional $1 to Starlight Children's Foundation for each purchase of a toy featured in the Playmaker’s short film up to $45,000, in addition to $55,000 worth of toys, games, crafts and much deserved funds.