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8 of the best collectible toys

Which are the best surprise toys to unwrap, discover and collect? Here are the ones our child testers rated tip-top...

8 of the best collectible toys

From surprise eggs to light-up fairies to mix-and-match emojis, collectible toys in all shapes and sizes have been having a major moment for some time now and it’s easy to see why: they’re seriously fun. Kids can amass, unwrap, unhatch and discover all sorts of treasures buried in a pot of gloop/putty/foam/sparkles/paper (delete as appropriate) – the art of collecting is practically a sport!

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The best ones spark off plenty of imaginative play after all the excitement of the reveal is over, and, when new ones are added to the collection (as they inevitably will be!), they’ll build into a collection of little toys to treasure.

Prices can vary considerably, as can the number of toys available to collect. But fear not: we’ve hunted the (virtual) toyshop shelves to find the collectible toys that offer value for money and real play potential, and rated them according to our child-tester feedback…

Here’s our pick of the best toy collectibles, as tested by children and rated by their parents

1. Bloopies Fairies, £17.99 each

– Great for light-up magic

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 4+ | Batteries: 3 x 1.5V (included)
Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: An 18cm-high plastic lantern that, with a twist of a special butterfly key, opens up like the petals of a flower to reveal a fairy doll and 9 other accessories to discover, including fairy wings, glittery skirt, fins and pearls. The fairy lights up when place in the centre of the flower and also in water. There are 10 fairies in the range to collect.

Why we love it: Our child testers found this toy genuinely magical, especially when the lantern’s petals first ‘unfold’ to reveal the big-eyed fairy inside. Kim, mum to our child tester, Octavia, 4, said: “Octavia loved finding the key and opening the petals, and she was delighted to see the fairy light up. I can see her playing with this for some time.” Another of our child testers, Daphne, 4, has. taken to carrying her flower/lantern case with her to different places to play with it when she gets there. “It’s very cute,” she said. ‘I love how the fairy lights ups and I’d like another one, so they can talk to each other.”

Available at: Argos and Very

2. My Squishy Little Dumplings, £14.99 each

– Great for cute reactions

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 4+ | Batteries: 2 x button cell (included)
Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A palm-sized (9cm-high) interactive collectible toy with over 50 reactions, including giggling, singing and light-up cheeks, activated by squeezing its cheeks, tickling it, shaking it and throwing it in the air. Comes with 2 accessories (Dee Dumpling, pictured above, has heart glasses and a headband). There are 4 dumplings in the range to collect.

Why we love it: We really like how tactile and fun this little collectible is – there’s a lot packed into such a small toy. Laura, mum of our child tester Sophia, 5, said, “Sophia loved how these dumplings can be folded up and rolled around and thrown in the air and caught easily. She also loved the different accessories and the language they speak. She said they are brilliant!” Sophia also spotted the QR code on the box – and was thrilled to scan it and see the Squishy Dumpling collection singing and dancing on YouTube. “That’s a really nice touch,” said Laura.

Available at: Amazon, Very and Smyths Toys

3. BABY born Surprise Mini Babies, £8.99 each

– Great for extended play

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 4+ | Batteries: None
Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A surprise pack of 6cm-high collectible twins or triplet dolls with moveable arms and legs that come with their own food or garden-themed fabric swaddle, blanket, birth certificate and stackable bed. There are 9 packs to collect.

Why we love it: We really like that there’s more than 1 doll in each pack– lots of scope for imaginary play with the dolls interacting even if you only have 1 pack. And the different themes are bright and appealing, too. Holly, mum of our child tester Lola, 5, said, “Lola was very excited to see which doll she would get. She thinks they’re cute and wraps them up and carries them around in their swaddle, so they’re perfect for taking out and about.”

Available at: Smyths and Zapf Creations

4. Magic Box Toys: T-Racers Turbo Wheel, £7 each

– Great for car-building creativity

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 4+ | Batteries: None
Awards: Bronze, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021

What it is: A mini racing car collectible, with parts that can be mixed and matched with other 7 T-racers in the collection. Inside each Turbo Wheel are 5 paper envelopes containing a cab, front chassis, rear chassis and wheels for you to put together, and a driver figure.

Why we love it: These little cars are fun to build – and discovering what’s in the little envelopes extends the thrill (you might need to stand by with scissors for this bit, as they’re not super-easy for little fingers to tear open). And we really like how you can mix and match all the different parts if you have more than one. Our child tester Isaac, 5, said, “This car is awesome and really cool and I love it. It is easy to take apart and put together and I like the bright colours and the wizard driver. I will play with this at least 2 million times!”

Available at: Amazon, Smyths Toys and The Entertainer

5. Playfoam Pals Wild Friends, £6 for 2

– Great for gender-neutral fun

Age suitability: 5+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None

What it is: A 6cm x 9cm pod filled with mouldable Playfoam, with a surprise wild animal pal hidden inside. There are 12 to collect, as well as a ‘rare’ gold version of each.

Why we love it: The foam is great – squishy, squashy, relatively mess-free and it doesn’t dry out. And the animals are cute and nicely gender-neutral – it’s also fun how you can pop apart their heads and bodies for a bit of mix-up fun. Our 5-year-old tester William spent ages moulding his foam into little nests for his animals.

Available at: Amazon and Learning Resources

6. Sunny Bunnies Giggle & Wiggle Soft Toy (medium), £15.99 each

– Great for toddlers

Sunny Bunnies Giggle & Wiggle Soft Toy

Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 12 months+ | Batteries: 2 x AAA (included)

What it is: A 20cm-high fluffy ball of bunniness that giggles and vibrates at a press of a button. There are 5 to collect: Turbo, Big Boo, Shiny, Iris and Hopper (pictured). Also available in bigger sizes.

Why we love it: It’s a handheld fluffball of fun that kept our toddler testers amused – and was especially loved by the toddlers who were familiar with the jolly Sunny Bunnies show on YouTube and Netflix. Soft and enjoyably silly.

Available at: Amazon

7. Smiley Halves, £2.99 per bag

– Great for fidgety fingers

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 3+ | Batteries: None

What it is: A 22-piece set of blind-bag emoji-face fidget toy collectibles. Each bag contains 2 magnetised half faces to put together – but will they match? There are rare, very rare, super rare, ultra rare and epic ones to collect, too.

Why we love it: Our child testers were a bit perplexed at first, although they liked the bright colours and emoji graphics. But once they connected their halves and started twisting and rolling and spinning the completed whole around, they were won over – it’s a great little fidget toy. We’re pretty sure most of them now have a growing collection…

Available at: HexaPlex and Amazon

8. Rainbocorns Itzy Glitzy Surprise collectible Eggs, £7 each

– Great for fun accessories

Rainbocorns Itzy Glitzy Surprise collectible Eggs

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 3 | Batteries: None

What it is: A pack of 4 plastic eggs, each with an Itzy Glitzy Rainbocorn inside. Comes with hair clips, rings, bows, wings and pop-and-swap heart gems. There are 26 to collect.

Why we love it: The little rainbocorns are very sweet and sparkly and it’s good that you get 4 in every pack. Our child testers really rated the accessories, and were delighted to discover that the Itzy Glitzy Rainbocorns also work as pencil toppers.

Available at: Argos

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About the author

Helen is Deputy Editor of MadeForMums, the author of Parenting for Dummies (Wiley, £17.99) and the Head Tester for our MadeForMums Toy Awards. She has written about parenting for Mumsnet, Pregnancy & Birth, Prima Baby, Boots Parenting Club and She Magazine and she’s also been Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby. She has 3 boys and a heavy-duty washing machine.

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