A DIZZYING amount of choice is on offer for Christmas gifts, but retailers say there are certain items jumping off the shelves.
The trend for all-ages this year is voice-controlled toys and gadgets, according to Warrnambool traders, such as dolls and figurines that engage with children's voices as well as household devices that respond to commands.
Warrnambool's Toyworld has more than 10,000 toys available, but the owners point out the brightly coloured displays fall into popular genres this festive season.
Maree Sedgley said interactive toys, educational STEM toys and building toys such as Lego were the favourites at the south-west store.
"Over the last five years toys have been getting more and more interactive," Ms Sedgley explained.
"People want the dolls to talk to them, rather than just play with them.
"Kids are so tech-savvy these days, they want things to do things, they want to be able to use their imaginations to make things work better."
A device mirroring the behaviour of a pet which children teach to fly called Owleez is high on Santa lists this year.
"We have sold quite a few of them, it does a little bit more than the other interactive toys, it's a girls' toy that does fly," Ms Sedgley said.
She said toys based on a movie or television series were also popular, with dolls from Frozen and even a new take on the classic Woody Toy Story figurine back in demand.
Ms Sedgley said educational STEM toys could be under families' trees this year, particularly for children who liked problem solving.
"Parents are wanting their children to learn while they are playing," Ms Sedgley said.
Owner Peter Sedgley said the store had also seen high-turnover of construction-based toys, such as the classic Lego sets.
"A lot of the movies also go over into Lego," he said.
"There is a market for the old traditional metal, wooden toys as well."
Target's top 10 lists a Lego rescue helicopter, a Barbie dream camper, and spinning top toys Beyblade Burst Slingshocks among the top online sales.
Meanwhile, eBay's top toys of 2019 for older children include Razor scooters and new takes on games Pictionary and Monopoly.
At Warrnambool's Harvey Norman the highest selling gadgets this year are from global tech giants Google and Apple.
Store computer manager Steve Walker said products like the Google Home Mini had encouraged wider markets to "dip a toe into the water of technology".
"For a lot of people it's technology they don't want to dive into, but what we're discovering is once they've had a bit of a play with it they're coming in and getting more smart devices, a smart clock, different smart globes, literally turning their house into a smart home," Mr Walker said.
Wireless headphones such as Apple EarPods will also likely appear in some Christmas stockings, Mr Walker said, after the store had to "secure more" following unexpected demand.
"Bluetooth speakers are also popular, people are just finding that handy because they can carry them wherever they want, to the beach, camping, listening to music whenever they want," he said.
Mr Walker said many shoppers preferred to do their research online before coming into the store.
"(Buying online) still doesn't beat coming out and looking at the item, if you come out you can see the item and that provides more comfort," he said.
"There are still people who come in scratching their head and they have a teenage son or daughter and don't know what to get them.
"That's where we can give them that option."
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