The TRA's Dream Toys is accurate at predicting which toys will go on to become Christmas best-sellers – that's according to toy market analysts NPD, which said it also expects this year's 'Dream Thirteen' to be hot products this Q4.
Speaking to ToyNews, Frédérique Tutt, NPD's European Analyst for toys, said: "The Dream Thirteen are there because they answer a need in every target group - for example toys for girls, boys and younger children.
"They might not all end up number one in their category, but if you look at last year's top twelve, ten of them were in the top five in their respective categories.
Tutt concluded: "So they are very accurate predictions. The panel that decides them are the best professionals in the country."
NPD's analysis on last year's Dream Dozen:
Doogie Doo – 6th in games 2011 (value)
Fijit – 2nd in youth electronics toy 2011
Fireman Sam Multi Rescue Set – 14th in infant pre-school December 2011
Kidizoom Twist – 2nd 2011 in total toys
LeapPad Explorer – 3rd for 2011 in total toys
Let’s Rock Elmo – 5th plush in December 2011
Milky the Bunny – 3rd plush in December 2011
Monster High Hydration Station – Monster High Dolls 2nd in dolls 2011
Moshi Monsters Treehouse – 1st in dolls 2011
Nerf Nitron Blaster – 4th in outdoor December 2011 (but Nerf 1st outdoor brand in 2011)
Lego Ninjago Fire Temple – 2nd in building sets for December 2011
SW Lightsaber Ultimate FX – 4th in action figures December 2011
As part of its presence at Dream Toys, NPD also published research which shows that online and social media content is helping to grow the UK girls toy market.
"Toy makers targeting the UK market are looking to girls to help them drive sales in the run up to Christmas," NPD said. "Manufacturers are making toys more relevant to today's young girls through social media capabilities and mobile apps."
Intelligence provided by the research group shows that girls aged between seven and ten are 'one of the most dynamic targets for toy makers' as UK toy sales to this group increased 19 per cent to £330 million in the 12 months leading to June 2012.
NPD added that the success of Monster High - a top ten best-selling toy in the UK (week of October 14th) - which uses a rich variety of social media and online content to develop its characters – illustrates the point that these platforms are helping to increase the appeal of girls toys.
Want to receive up to the minute toy industry news straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up for the free ToyNews Daily Digest and Newsflash services. You can also follow ToyNews on Twitter and Facebook.