Rosie Marshall, head of toys and children’s gifts at Associated Independent Stores
Rosie Marshall, head of toys and children’s gifts at Associated Independent Stores

The AIS has revealed more about the thought processes that were behind the selection of this year’s DreamToys list.

And Rosie Marshall, head of toys and children’s gifts at Associated Independent Stores has said it was “key to ensure all budgets were catered for” during the cost of living crisis.

She further urged retailers to promote DreamToys stock in store and on social media channels.

The top 12 was unveiled with the usual press attention on Wednesday, with a full analysis of the coverage earned due here shortly.
In a detailed statement, Marshall said: ““Over the past few months, myself and the wider DreamToys team have been hard at work compiling the top 12 toys for Christmas 2022. Narrowing down our selection from the long list of 72 toys has been no mean feat, but through the collaborative efforts of our panel of retailers and toy experts, we are pleased to finally share our top 12 with the public.

“Every year, my role as head of toys and children’s gifts at AIS is integral to the selection process. I am regularly in conversation with our diverse member base on what toys are selling well and where they’re observing demand, and this ultimately feeds into the creation of both our long and short lists.

“The relationship between DreamToys and AIS is important not only to the selection of these lists, but to AIS’ member base too, ensuring that independents have an influential voice in an industry that is so often dominated by large retailers. Moreover, with our list being influenced by products that are already selling well with independent retailers, we are driving further attention towards these lines for a boost in sales ahead of Christmas.

“On this topic, one of the biggest talking points among our members is how to approach the festive season, given the significant reduction in spending power among consumers amid the cost of living crisis. Here, keeping a variety of stock is key, to ensure that all budgets are catered for, with options under £10 such as Jazwares’ Original 7.5” Squishmallows (£7.99), up to more premium options such as Spin Master Toys’ Gabby’s Purrfect Dollhouse (£79.99).

“Retailers should also promote any DreamToys stock they have both in store and on their social media channels. Here, the primary goal of retailers should be to drive customers in store, as sales will often take care of themselves after this point. High-demand, low-margin products may not prove profitable alone, but provide wider value through the potential for upselling once customers are in store. After all, the influence of an enthusiastic child in a toy store environment simply cannot be understated, particularly in the leadup to Christmas.

“Looking ahead, a number of key suppliers will be in attendance at our INDX Toys & Nursery Gifts 2023 show in April, providing an early chance to pick out the emerging trends and popular product lines that will form the basis of DreamToys 2023. It’s also worth noting that expert advice from the AIS team will be available at the event, to help retailers really capitalise on growing trends.”

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