/ Parenting, Shopping, Technology

Gadgets, not toys, top kids’ Christmas wish list

Boy using iPhone in park

There’s an Apple bug going around this winter – and it’ll be at the top of your kids’ Christmas wish list. No, it’s not a new obsession with eating fruit, but their want for the latest iGadget.

Damn and blast! I’m writing about Christmas in October. I should be writing about trick-or-treating but instead I’m jumping aboard the iTrain – just like this country’s little nippers.

In this year’s ‘most wanted’ you won’t find very many actual toys. Instead you’ll stumble across a whole bunch of gadgets that you’d perhaps expect to find on your own wish list.

Apple products sparkle at the top of Duracell’s poll of Britain’s five- to 16-year-olds. The iPhone 4, iPod Touch and the iPad take the top three places. What could a five-year-old possibly want with a £400 iPad? Well, I suppose that since even a cat can use it, the smallest of hands could probably get Apple’s tablet to do something.

Of the 2,138 youngsters asked, 39% crave an Apple gadget for their very iChristmas. Thankfully it’s the older kids that want iGadgets more, with 66% of 13- 16-year-olds Apple-ing it up. A not too shabby 50% of nine- to 12-year-olds are Apple-ites, followed by 17% of five- to eight-year-olds.

Motion gaming and video taking

So what else is on the list? Motion sensing gaming looks set to be big hit this Christmas, with Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect camera in fourth place. In at number eight is competitor Sony with their bobble-topped motion-controller, PlayStation Move, suggesting that Microsoft’s controller-less attention-grabber is beating out Move’s more accurate gaming.

At least with these gaming gadgets, the youngsters will be off their bums being active, even if it is in front of the telly. However, there’s no sign of the console that started off the motion revolution – the Nintendo Wii. So either this console is finally coming to a rest, or all the kids have got one already.

And then there’s the video cameras. It looks like today’s ankle biters are well into spying on their parents and posting the evidence on Youtube. So you better watch out for the Flip video camera and the slightly creepy Barbie Video Girl – a Barbie doll that has a camera lens embedded into its chest. No doubt all the Bond girls will be doing it next.

Are kids’ tastes growing up too fast?

With expensive gadgets puncturing this year’s must-haves, our little tikes might be growing up a little too fast. I’d like to think I was all about the LEGO, board games and Scalextric. But the truth is, when I was younger, I was also into my computer and Sega Master System.

I certainly didn’t have a mobile phone, however. The majority of children aged between eight and 12 now do, according to a survey by The Baby Website. Not only that, but they’re also on Facebook, have their own laptop and a personal email account. Surely there’s something wrong with the world when our children want the same ‘toys’ as we do?

So here are this Christmas’s top 10 toys according to Duracell’s report. Which one would you buy for yourself?

1. iPhone 4 (14%)
2. iPod touch (13%)
3. iPad (12%)
4. Kinect for Xbox 360 (6%)
5. Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters (5%)
6. Flip Video Camera (4%)
7. Toy Story 3 Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear (4%)
8. PlayStation Move (4%)
9. LEGO Harry Potter Video Game (3%)
10. Barbie Video Girl (3%)

Sophie Gilbert says:
26 October 2010

Every time I hear about what parents buy their kids and what kids want I’m appalled. We are breeding people who, unless they are very, very clever and wise, in later life will not be able to cope with not having luxury goods handed to them on a plate, will not understand that possessing luxury goods is not a right owed to them by society, who will get themselves into debt because they want it all and they want it now, and who will never be happy unless or until they get the latest shiny gadgets designed by manufacturers who are experts at creating needs and manipulating the masses into buying their goods.

I understand why you are raising the subject now, Patrick, but I seriously think that shops and advertisers should be banned from mentioning Christmas before the 1st of December. I don’t believe that unrestrained consumerism is beneficial to our society in any way, quite the opposite.

David Bragg says:
26 October 2010

Surely the ‘breeding of people’ to which you refer has already caused it’s demise in the name of the Credit Crunch.
We have just gone through and will suffer for many years the answer to people spending well beyond their means. As an example we have had a regime of people buying houses that should be beyond their reach but thanks to manipulations of past mortgage lenders they handed out money that cannot be repaid by many, resulting in credit failure.
Until people are prepared to wait until they can afford what they want and not commiting to large credit just to beat the Joneses then we will always have a problem.

How times have changed! When I was a child, we had Beano Annuals, colouring books & crayons for Christmas – usually with some socks, underwear, or pyjamas from Aunties. Maybe some sweets as well.
A bike or some such if we were very lucky!
I wholeheartedly endorse Sophie’s comments above – also Patrick’s about what on earth a child could want an ipad for.
Our local garden centre morphs into a Christmas Ghetto at the end of September. The TV commercials are already filled with adverts for toys. No wonder it feels as if each year is becoming shorter & shorter! Christmas advertising should not be allowed to start until December.

Patrick, I can sympathise. Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier each year… I was at the unveiling of the industry’s toy bestseller predictions last week, which felt very wrong in October!

No Apple products in their ‘dream toys list’ – but Buzz Lightyear and the rather scary Barbie Video Girl were on show, as well as several of what people are describing as ‘kidult toys’ – adult-like gadgets designed for children. You can read coverage of the event here – http://www.which.co.uk/news/2010/10/top-toys-for-christmas-2010-revealed-234796/ – looking at some of the more interesting tech pickings we spotted.

Completely agree Danny, I’m not sure I could think of enough reasons to justify buying an iPad for myself let alone a little person…

Funnily enough, Kelly, I was asked last night what I wanted for Christmas (groan).
I mooted the idea of an e-reader but caught myself saying ‘Oh but if I was getting one of those I’d be better with an ipad’.
Not surprisingly, I was given an incredulous glance with the comment ‘But what on earth do you need that for? You’ve got a smart phone, an idea pad {little computer} and your laptop, so what would you actually do with it?’.
I have to admit I didn’t have an answer to that!

I think too many parents don’t buy solely for their children – but to brag to the neighbours and friends about how much they’ve spent on their child.

I must add that my “bestest” ever present and the one I had dreamt about was a huge size 10 Meccano in a mahogany chest of drawers – weighing around 70 lbs – It cost a fortune. But it was in almost daily use for at least 7 years. It was probably the reason I went into scientific research after Uni.