Cheap Toy Deals Online & In Store, Sale - HotUKDeals
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71

Hexbug Transformers Warriors Battle £9.99 @ Home Bargains ( RRP £39.99)

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I picked up the last one at the Bangor (North Wales) store, might be worth checking in other stores. RRP supposedly £39.99, Argos and Amazon currently selling for £23.99, lowest historical price on…
doovdes Avatar3h, 12m agoFound 3 hours, 12 minutes ago1 Comment
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https://s21.postimg.org/67elg1xvb/photo.jpg
19

Monsters Story Teller from BigRedWarehouse £10.37 delivered

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I bought one unit two years ago, and now it is more than 2 pounds cheaper. Hopefully will help a few people out for Christmas. Sully the storyteller will engross you in his tales. Highly-detailed
delltiano Avatar6h, 43m agoFound 6 hours, 43 minutes ago1 Comment
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[COMMUNITY SUPPORT]
My little boy found this at his friend's house just last night and fell in love with it! He might find it in his stocking this Christmas :)
80

Thomas & Friends Sites On Sodor 3-Pack with Playmat (was £20) now £10.00 C&C @ Tesco Direct (more links in 1st comment)

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A a great value gift for any Thomas fan at just £10! The Friends 'Sites On Sodor' set of 3 push-along toys with a playmat is half price, down from £20 with Free click and collect. • Includes p…
millarcat Avatar13h, 13m agoFound 13 hours, 13 minutes ago2 Comments
-35

50% off of selected toys at Tesco direct £5.00

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Loads of toys to stock up on before Christmas. Well rated ones too. Starting from £5 Duplo, my little pony etc.
anthea007 Avatar23h, 19m agoFound 23 hours, 19 minutes ago1 Comment
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Half of them are a com half price is their full price seen your at full price for 15 a few days ago now they've been half prices to 15 tesco are a con
31

Mega Bloks First Builders Scooping Wagon only £22.99 @ Amazon Reduced from £34.99

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Mega Bloks First Builders Scooping Wagon only £22.99 @ Amazon with Prime Del reduced from £34.99 This is a great deal if youre buying early Xmas presents as this item is unlikely to dip below this
country_girl Avatar1d, 1h agoFound 1 day, 1 hour agoAdd Comment
256Expired

Plum Cook-a-lot Trolley Wooden Kitchen (was £70) Now £35.00 at Tesco Direct

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If you are looking for a Wooden Play Kitchen for the kids, this is pretty impressive for the price. Down from £70 to just £35 with Free click and collect at Tesco Direct. This same kitchen is £94 o…
millarcat Avatar1d, 9h agoFound 1 day, 9 hours ago3 Comments
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great thanks. perfect for my niece for christmas
Ooo tempted!
[mod]
http://woodenplaykitchen.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Plum-Products-Plum-Cook-a-lot-Trolley-Wooden-Kitchen-0-2.jpg
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86

Lexus RX350 6V Kids Ride On Car Black With LED Headlights £69.00 Delivered @ Tesco Ebay

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Not many left, so be quick if you want one. Sleek and sporty, the Lexus RX350 6V battery-powered ride-on looks just like the adult-sized version. With chrome-effect wheels, LED headlights, 2 working
wishihadadonkey Avatar1d, 9h agoFound 1 day, 9 hours ago3 Comments
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Lexus? Does this come with free junior membership to the Freemasons?
Seems a good price
You're best off looking for a lease deal on these, the depreciation in the first three years is terrible.
75

VTech Toot Toot Drivers Carry Case (was £25) now £15.00 @ Asda George

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Great little play set and it has it's own storage carry case too! Now £15.00 with free click and collect at Asda. Get ready to park and go with the Toot-Toot Drivers Carry Case! Your child will dev…
millarcat Avatar1d, 12h agoFound 1 day, 12 hours ago5 Comments
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Do you get a car with it or is it just the case?
Thanks op. £25 was a bit too much but £15 is much better value. Another present sorted for Christmas.
[mod]
Where u find the pic for carry case in comments??
37Expired

Hatchimals available in Green, Purple Teal or Pink (was £59.99) Pre-order now for £49.99 using code at Smyths Toys

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Hatchimals are set to be so BIG this Christmas and due for release on October 7th! It's available to pre-order at selected stores (they will only have a limited amount) so you need to select your
millarcat Avatar1d, 13h agoFound 1 day, 13 hours ago5 Comments
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These look like fun. I have never heard about them and cant find a great deal on them.
thank you ordered
Won't let me add to basket
How u preorder it won't let me add to basket
link doesnt work?
37

Coder Mip - Programable Robot £59.99 using code ST10 - Free delivery @ SmythsToys

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Coder MiP is the new, programmable version of the world’s favourite balancing robot. Control your robot's actions and reactions with simple drag-and-drop commands, using the brand new app on your BLE
StevenBrown Avatar2d, 3h agoFound 2 days, 3 hours ago3 Comments
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I got mine in the post today and had to "test" them to see they work, my kids will love them for Christmas
Bargain, many thanks.
Simple coding example
http://media.148apps.com/screenshots/1130854302/us-iphone-1-coder-mip.jpeg

Edited By: StevenBrown on Sep 26, 2016 18:17
33

DC Superhero Girls Laser Guns (Batgirl & Wonder Woman) £18.16 (Prime), £22.15 (Non-Prime) @ Amazon

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Cheapest price it's been. Usually dispatched within 1 to 4 weeks. This is something I have my eye on for my niece's Xmas. Can't see many sellers of these at the moment - they only appeared on Argos…
louiselouise Avatar2d, 4h agoFound 2 days, 4 hours ago7 Comments
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Managed to get the Laser Guns from Forge Retail Park, Glasgow - £16.99 as you said kiaclare, thanks again. Asked about the Electronic Diary but was told they haven't had them in stock yet.
Asked mum to look out for them for me - my local Home Bargains is miles away :) Thanks for updating kiarclare.
louiselouise
kiaclare
these were in home bargains the other day but can't remember how much they were
Ooh, thanks, will have a look. I'm pretty sure there was a Super Hero Girls electronic diary (?) on HUKD recently at Home Bargains, too.


​they were £16.99, saw them today on the zootropolis hunt lol they have diaries too but not sure on price, £14.99 rings a bell though
kiaclare
these were in home bargains the other day but can't remember how much they were
Ooh, thanks, will have a look. I'm pretty sure there was a Super Hero Girls electronic diary (?) on HUKD recently at Home Bargains, too.
these were in home bargains the other day but can't remember how much they were
86Expired

Mr Potato Head Beach Bucket Set £2.99 @ Argos

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Although it's around Autumn now. You may aswell purchase this and save it for the spring/summer time. Has brilliant reviews and rated 4/5 stars
buckzzz1 Avatar2d, 5h agoFound 2 days, 5 hours ago3 Comments
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I would buy for next year but does anyone even know when summer is now? lol
They've been this price for the last couple of months but annoyingly never in stock at the half dozen or so stores closest to me :-(
good find op, heat added
-127

WWE 2K17 Xbox One £36.99 @ Smyths Toys

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Available to pre order at £41.99 less £5 discount makes £36.99 Also includes Goldburg addon and 2 wcw arenas. Cheapest i have seen it, no doubt will get less after release date.
gaz15 Avatar2d, 6h agoFound 2 days, 6 hours ago4 Comments
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£35 on Amazon last week looks like it's gone back up after the tesco voucher expired yesterday

Edited By: Alansawake on Sep 26, 2016 16:27: Wrong info
£37 for a game :p , back in my day you got them for £2.99 in the local newspaper shop. Good old Mastertronic :)
dalecool92
Anything to go by the first one, I will stay clear of all these by 2k

The first one was pretty much rushed due to the demise of THQ. They are good games and worth jumping on for a play. Online also seems solid from what I have played on 2K16
Anything to go by the first one, I will stay clear of all these by 2k
833Expired

Really Stunning Magic Gold Edition was £20 originally now £5.00 C+C @ Tesco Direct

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This is seriously a real bargain, it was £20 originally & I waited until it was on offer for £10 & bought one for my girls, then after seeing what it contained I bought loads as presents, it's now dro…
wishihadadonkey Avatar2d, 10h agoFound 2 days, 10 hours ago66 Comments
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just collected my order and they were a good buy at £5 for class mate birthday gifts. unfortunately some were in damaged boxes as the were shipped in poly bags only
It's on there but back at £19.99
Sorry, we don't have enough Really Stunning Magic Gold Edition items in stock right now.
Missed that one then. Damn!
OOS. Shame that, looked a great xmas pres.
372

Wooden Train Table + Train Set was £60 now £30.00 C+C @ Tesco Direct

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Was £60 & now £30, part of the Wooden Carousel range which imo is usually great quality. Measuring approximately 85cm in length, this train table set from Carousel provides kids with an easy surface
wishihadadonkey Avatar2d, 10h agoFound 2 days, 10 hours ago13 Comments
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thanks for your reply razzledazzle84
back in stock,just ordered..thanks op :)
snowblindcrash
SmokinMonkey
We had a carousel set for about a day before taking it back. Utter junk, terrible quality. Buy this, chuck the set and just use the table with some Brio.

Thanks for this, I am glad the table is ok as that's the main reason for the purchase.


​we received ours today and am throughly impressed. main reason for us too was the table but the set that comes with it is perfectly fine and fits on to his other wooden track set too.
gmerchant
razzledazzle84
thanks. been looking for a reasonable priced one for sons birthday.


​did u find it online? thanks


​sorry. late reply. yes it was online. I think they are sold out now as even my delivery was delayed because of supplier issues. I received it today though.
snowblindcrash
SmokinMonkey
We had a carousel set for about a day before taking it back. Utter junk, terrible quality. Buy this, chuck the set and just use the table with some Brio.
Thanks for this, I am glad the table is ok as that's the main reason for the purchase.

I've never seen the table I'm just saying the track is such bad quality it isn't even worth having. Looking at the specs it does look very small.

Edited By: SmokinMonkey on Sep 27, 2016 09:25
165Expired

Guess How Much I Love You Large Hare Plush now £6.00 C+C @ Tesco Direct

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Still one of my kids favourite snuggly bedtime stories & this is the Plush from the book, seems a fab price at just £6 C+C, still double that at amazon & even more at Boots. Excellent reviews across t…
wishihadadonkey Avatar2d, 10h agoFound 2 days, 10 hours ago5 Comments
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Super squishy and huggable!
Sorry this product is currently unavailable ☹️
seems to be oos for me
Love it, ordered2 thanks
thanks just got
13Expired

babame have 25% discount on all doll houses use code DOLLS

Instructions:25% off doll houses untill Monday 9pm  
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moomin23 Avatar2d, 23h agoFound 2 days, 23 hours ago / expired 26 Sep 1626 September 2016Add Comment
63

Playskool Rescuebots new characters available at Smyths Toys - £9.99

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Found the 'new' Rescuebots Blurr, Quick Shadow and Morbot in Smyths Toys Cribbs Causeway, Bristol. Have been looking for them everywhere....impossible to get in the UK so far. they are even listed in
Nandana1981 Avatar3d, 5h agoFound 3 days, 5 hours ago3 Comments
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Got Blurr and Quickshadow - my eldest will be thrilled! Thanks again.
Seems that way, as I said we just popped in on the off chance as my little lad has been looking for Blurr for months! They had loads of other easier to get ones too.
Great find. In-store only for now?
213

Big Tesco toy event starts 26th September

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Just had the heads up the big Tesco toy event starts tomorrow (26th September)
balmuir Avatar3d, 11h agoFound 3 days, 11 hours ago33 Comments
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dannia101
beccad
Anyone know when Sainsbury's toy sale starts?
Usually half term week end of October
I thought it started on a Tues/Weds before half term
beccad
Anyone know when Sainsbury's toy sale starts?


Usually half term week end of October
there was loads on sale in my local tesco (dundee) paw patrol peppa pig etc....All half price
Anyone know when Sainsbury's toy sale starts?
beckton had loads of toys half price but nothing special.
-52

furbacca toys r us half price £34.99

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Furbacca The Star Wars edition furby Half price for £34.99 also now on eBay at this price moved bag of reviews but could for any Star Wars fan or furby fan mixed bag of reviews but worth a punt…
theman1990 Avatar3d, 20h agoFound 3 days, 20 hours ago1 Comment
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This will more than likely become a collectors item in 10 years time. so its worth paying £35 just to stick it away in closet and forgetting about. at this price there's no way you would lose money. not something i would buy though.
77

Fisher Price Beat Bo £24.99 using code @ Smyths toys free c&c available

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You can get £5 off when you spend over £20 using the code ST5. It is a great toy with really good reviews. Hopefully this helps someone! Activate fun songs, learning content and dance moves with th…
Jay098 Avatar3d, 22h agoFound 3 days, 22 hours ago6 Comments
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GAZKERR
Any idea what the cheapest click and collect item is? Trying to push my total over £100 and I'm 2p under it!!!! :(
They have got some sticker packs for 50p.
http://www.smythstoys.com/uk/en-gb/search/?q=sticker#2&profile=UK
Any idea what the cheapest click and collect item is? Trying to push my total over £100 and I'm 2p under it!!!! :(
Thanks! Perfect for my little ones 1st birthday.
aggala
Hi op where do i input the code? Im using a android device.



​Found it. Thanks and good spot op
aggala
Hi op where do i input the code? Im using a android device.
In mine it comes up when you click to view the basket it shows the item and promo box underneath, but for it to take total off you have yo select either home delivery or store collecting in

Edited By: cowcrazy on Sep 25, 2016 08:15
-93

Pampers nappies 68s various sizes £10.00 @ Toys R Us

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68 pampers nappies in various sizes £11.99 each or 2pks for £10
leannebowes Avatar4d, 3h agoFound 4 days, 3 hours ago11 Comments
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dueinfeb17
Good deal works out cheaper per nappy than supermarket baby event promos, not as cheap as the aldi jumbo packs though but heat added! Not sure why this is showing cold?!


Holeinone
dueinfeb17
Good deal works out cheaper per nappy than supermarket baby event promos, not as cheap as the aldi jumbo packs though but heat added! Not sure why this is showing cold?!
Cold because less than £10 for 94 @ Amazon. Pull ups as well, thanks for listing though.


This is for 2 packs of 68 though for £10, title isn't clear enough
leannebowes
Holeinone
dueinfeb17
Good deal works out cheaper per nappy than supermarket baby event promos, not as cheap as the aldi jumbo packs though but heat added! Not sure why this is showing cold?!
Cold because less than £10 for 94 @ Amazon. Pull ups as well, thanks for listing though.
So easy to get into a store if they are needed now rather than wait for delivery from Amazon, however I will be ordering through Amazon when i run out
If you've run out, doesn't matter where you get em or how much you pay. Those babies are a pain, have you ever tried to tell one you're short on nappies, they just don't care lol.
Holeinone
dueinfeb17
Good deal works out cheaper per nappy than supermarket baby event promos, not as cheap as the aldi jumbo packs though but heat added! Not sure why this is showing cold?!
Cold because less than £10 for 94 @ Amazon. Pull ups as well, thanks for listing though.
So easy to get into a store if they are needed now rather than wait for delivery from Amazon, however I will be ordering through Amazon when i run out


Edited By: leannebowes on Sep 24, 2016 20:44
dueinfeb17
Good deal works out cheaper per nappy than supermarket baby event promos, not as cheap as the aldi jumbo packs though but heat added! Not sure why this is showing cold?!
I added heat and I went colder!
69

Mothercare elc half price toys(luxury dolls house, farmhouse kitchen) + 3 for 2 £155.00

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I got the luxury manor dolls house £80 with code reduced from £160 + the wooden farmhouse kitchen £75 reduced from £150 and the magical mimi wooden dressing table £70 as the free item so all of that f…
stephwfe Avatar4d, 7h agoFound 4 days, 7 hours ago3 Comments
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UNXE add the code at checkout and it will take it down to £80
What code is it?
Doll house is showing as £160
46

Play-Doh Crazy Cuts Playset £6.99 @ Smyths Toys & Amazon

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Normally around £12 - £18 available from Smyths Toys & Amazon seem to be price matching for only £6.99. Think I paid around £13 last year for wee one for Christmas and she loves it.
Alieus Avatar4d, 20h agoFound 4 days, 20 hours ago4 Comments
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good find op, heat added
Heat, (much progressed) toy of my childhood
Hot my daughter loves eating PlayDoh, will save me some money on next weeks shopping.

I may even buy an extra game :)
187

Toy clearance £3.00 @ Birmingham High Street Boots instore only

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Many toys reduced in Birmingham High street Boots : ELC Monty Monkey and car £3 ELC happy land Safari adventure £4.5 ELC construction vehicle trio set £4 Disney Twirling skirt Cinderella £7.5 A…
TPBW Avatar5d, 4h agoFound 5 days, 4 hours ago4 Comments
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got these at the tamworth branch last saturday and they did go through at 3 for 2
great find, heat op
Yes. In basement next to photo frame section
Hi OP

Is this the boots near Argos?

I was in there yesterday and didn't notice any of this stuff unless I got the wrong boots.

The toys should go through 3 for 2 as well.
59

ELC Luxury Manor Doll House was £160 now £80.00 Delivered with code PLUS inc in 3 for 2 Offer Still @ ELC & Mothercare

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Think the Luxury Grande Manor House looks fab, don't think I'd pay £160 but at £80 Delivered with code UNXE & included in the 3 for 2 at both ELC & Mothercare I think it's a steal of a price. I added
wishihadadonkey Avatar5d, 14h agoFound 5 days, 14 hours agoAdd Comment
41

Bing talking 9in toy £12.59 @ Amazon (Prime exclusive)

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Been this price for a couple of days now. AMAZON. I can't link from Amazon via app (I don't know how to)
helenstanforth Avatar6d, 6h agoFound 6 days, 6 hours agoAdd Comment
50

Barbie Beach Ken Doll now £4.00 C+C @ Wilko

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Rrp is supposed to be £19, but that's just silly, was £8 & is now £4 with free C+C, seems to be around £7.50+ elsewhere (ie Amazon £7.81 / Toys R Us £9.99), great reviews across the net. He's not a
wishihadadonkey Avatar6d, 8h agoFound 6 days, 8 hours ago2 Comments
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pretty much always £4 at wilko, i posted this last year.
Camp.
82Expired

Playmobil City Action Recycling Truck 5679 was £25 now £15.00 C+C @ Asda George

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Cheapest price that I can find by quite a margin. Was £25 now £15 C+C The Playmobil Recycling Truck includes two workmen who have their work cut out collecting the recycled materials in the truck. Th…
wishihadadonkey Avatar6d, 11h agoFound 6 days, 11 hours ago3 Comments
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oos :(
What a great price. Great from me x
thanks OP got 1 for my boy
50

Blaze and the monster machines character figures now £3.00 in Asda

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Found all the Blaze characters reduced in the Glenrothes store but assistant said they should be national. Reduced from £5 to £3 and they had lots of all the characters in stock!
tamlyndouglas Avatar6d, 11h agoFound 6 days, 11 hours ago8 Comments
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Check Accrington store got pickle a few others and got blaze and crusher monster dome play set for £20
I checked my local in Swindon today but whatever they had has sold out. The entertainer have them
For £5 back in stock yesterday if you can't get yo asda and wanted a particular one :)
cato4eva
Omg I need pickle this is only range that does a pickle n my boy has all characters (different ranges ) we can't find pickle
They've got Pickle on The Entertainer website for a fiver if you don't manage to get one at Asda :-)
Omg I need pickle this is only range that does a pickle n my boy has all characters (different ranges ) we can't find pickle
helen169p
Wow i wish! My local never have them in stock. My son loves them


​The Glenrothes store didn't have them in for ages! My son was dying to get hold of the Pickle one and we thought they'd stopped selling them at our store until I saw them today! Check your local they might have more in, I'm guessing they're clearing stock for new characters to launch before Xmas?
93Expired

X-Com 2 PS4 & Xbox One £24.99 using code ST5 @ Smyths Toys

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Smyths toys have a new online discount code and using it on X-Com 2 for console (releases September 30th I believe) will knock £5 off and reduce it to £24.99. Fantastic price :)
MrChi Avatar6d, 12h agoFound 6 days, 12 hours ago11 Comments
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voyager123
GamerJack95
Best strategy game i have ever played :) hopefully the console versions get some form of mod support
xbox maybe but cant see it for the ps4 with sony's stance on mods
Sony are willing to support mods, but there was an issue with the audio format for Skyrim and Fallout4.. which would have required the game to have access to code that would normally be locked down. Sony refused on the grounds that this could potentially lead to exploits to circumvent copy protection, etc.

I'm disappointed in the lack of Fallout mods but Sony do have to protect themselves.
MrChi
GamerJack95
voyager123
GamerJack95
Best strategy game i have ever played :) hopefully the console versions get some form of mod support
xbox maybe but cant see it for the ps4 with sony's stance on mods
Ahh thats a damn shame! its one of those games were a few small MOD's just make a huge difference
​I wouldn't say Sony are entirely against mods. Farming simulator 2017 apparently has them for console
aren't they official mods? it seems to be user mods they are against for two reasons

1 the possibility that they could lead to the console being hacked

2 they want the money for themselves for user mods and those that made the mods will see little money if any at all unlike Microsoft who have said the makers of the mods will get all money

Edited By: voyager123 on Sep 22, 2016 10:46
I have been looking forward to this for some time now... but because of the new release date I can't buy it for a while. I think I have a new game coming every week lol.... Xmas for me now :(
GamerJack95
voyager123
GamerJack95
Best strategy game i have ever played :) hopefully the console versions get some form of mod support
xbox maybe but cant see it for the ps4 with sony's stance on mods

Ahh thats a damn shame! its one of those games were a few small MOD's just make a huge difference


​I wouldn't say Sony are entirely against mods. Farming simulator 2017 apparently has them for console
Illusionary
MrChi
I'm expiring the deal. Upon closer inspection of the T&C's of the voucher, it excludes video games. What a bummer :(
You'd also need to add £2.99 P&P for home delivery (orders <£30).


​Well, the fact the deal is expired doesn't really matter now, does it..
69

Toys 'R' Us Promo - Thomas The Tank Engine 3 For 2 With Some Items Already Half Price!

1
3 for 2 deal on all Thomas the Tank Engine stuff with some items already on sale up to half price. Deal on til 1/11 or stock availability according to their site. Click and collect available for most
ikki Avatar6d, 22h agoFound 6 days, 22 hours ago1 Comment
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perfect!! thank you!!
-78

Chad Valley Light and Sound Submarine. half price £14.99 @ Argos 3 for2

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The Light and Sound Black Shark Submarine is an intimidating addition to any arsenal. With 12 firing missiles, you can take on any enemy. But if the Black Shark has bitten off more than he can chew, m…
cadburylady33 Avatar1w, 2h agoFound 1 week, 2 hours ago5 Comments
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I'm not sure why its been voted cold. I've searched around the net, and the next best price is £24.99 from Amazon.

If the cold voters would leave a reason, as to why they vote cold? Can they find it cheaper? if yes, vote cold and leave a link to where its cheaper. If they don't have a use for it, then just don't vote.

Heat.....
great thank will change accordingly cheers GemandJake
I bought three of the smaller (matching) sets, all states they were not included in the 342. The lady went to check with a manager who confirmed they were. Ended up with three sets for £10.97
sorry guys :( made relevant changes
Not included in 3 for 2
64

Jumbo Car park in argos also part of 3 for 2 toys less than half price was £54.99 £18.99

8
Five level Car Park, with one car. Five level, one time drive from level to the base. Featuring a car wash, repair station, gas station and central tower lift.Supposedly down from £54.99 though cant s…
cadburylady33 Avatar1w, 3h agoFound 1 week, 3 hours ago8 Comments
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I bought this earlier in the year for £17.99, definitely not worth anymore than £20. The 'was' price is just to make simpletons think they've got a bargain.

Edited By: bmckay00 on Sep 21, 2016 19:28: mistake
Darzen
Oos everywhere
The same with just about every decent priced item lol.
Oos everywhere
Not all are saying they are part of the 3 for 2 when in fact they are.
karina80
Again not included in 3 for 2
Only selects items are included
Decent price though


​my little pony weren't marked as 3 for 2 but came off at checkout for me
-41

LEGO Geoffrey & Friends (40228) FREE £45 spend or £9.99 Toys R Us

0
LEGO Geoffrey & Friends (40228) FREE with £45 spend or £9.99 Toys R Us, an exclusive set only from Toys R Us. Worth remembering if picking up items not in Argos 3 for 2.
garethsmith72 Avatar1w, 4h agoFound 1 week, 4 hours agoAdd Comment

Playing with Toys Helps Kids to Grow

Toys are, at least on the surface, fun and entertaining distractions for children, but there is, of course, much more to it than that. While anyone with kids knows that a child can have fun with their imagination alone, there are a range of toys out there that help children with learning and development, physically, mentally, creatively and socially. Playing with toys also gives children an outlet for their imagination to flourish and a means of discovering and expressing their identity.

Buyers guide for toys

A Brief History of Toys

Toys lego building It seems that toys are as old as humanity itself and early examples of children's toys have been unearthed from archaeological sites of ancient cultures the whole world over. They played an important and central part of the rite of passage for girls in Ancient Greece who, on the eve of their wedding night, would "sacrifice" their dolls to the gods in order to enter womanhood.

Toys, as we know them today, really began to take shape during the Enlightenment period as social attitudes towards childhood changed. Throughout the 19th century, toys took on a more educational focus, and as the middle class grew, as did demand for kid's toys and with it, the industrial methods of toy manufacture.

The various technological developments throughout the 20th century saw enormous developments in toy manufacture. The invention of new materials that could be used in toy production, such as plastic, made toys more affordable and they became ubiquitous in homes throughout the West. As the century progressed, ever closer global integration has made toys such as Lego, Barbie and Action Man household names across the planet, and as technology continues to develop, it's certain that toys will go with it.

Different Types of Children's Toys

  • Action figures: Poseable figurines, usually made from plastic and based on popular characters from films, books, television or video games.
  • Antique and second-hand toys: From valuable collectibles to antiques to ubiquitous household toys and games that are gathering dust in an attic, there is a whole world of toys available that fall into this category.
  • Arts & crafts and educational toys: Toys that are designed and marketed as having an educational or creative value for children.
  • Baby, toddler & pre-school toys: Toys specifically aimed at 0-4 year olds. Usually, these toys have a more overt developmental focus.
  • Building sets and blocks: From wooden bricks to Lego, these kinds of toy help children to test their motor and spatial skills, hand-eye coordination, divergent thinking and social skills.
  • Dolls, stuffed animals and dress up: From rag dolls to teddy bears to fancy dress, they teach children to nurture and let them play "grown-ups" at the same time.

Barbie’s Evolution

  • Electronics and computer games: A firm favourite that needs no introduction. Video games are great for testing reflexes, lateral thinking and puzzle solving, but it's easy for a child to spend too long in front of them.
  • Games and puzzles: Great for helping develop strategy and forward thinking, these toys are much more about exercising the brain than the body.
  • Toy kitchen sets: Replica kitchenettes. Traditionally aimed at girls, though it's good to teach boys to cook too.
  • Toy vehicles: Miniature replicas of vehicles. Traditionally a boy's toy, though girls enjoy them too. Some toy vehicles are big enough for a child to sit in and play at being "driver".
  • Outdoor toys: From bicycles to trampolines to paddling pools, these toys help keep kids active and fit, as well as having social benefits.

Hot Wheels Cars

Toys for Children of Different Age Groups

There have been countless numbers of studies into the subject of child development. Most research points to various milestones that children meet at different ages, and as parents, you will want to get toys that are age appropriate to help your child grow socially, physically and mentally. Here is a brief breakdown of the recommendations made by child development experts, based on a child's age and what will help them to develop.

Outdoor toys for children

Toys for Boys and Girls

Toys are an important factor in defining a child's perception of gender roles. If parents buy a girl dolls, kitchenettes, make-up, pink princess dresses and high heeled shoes, they are giving a specific set of messages. If in turn, they buy a boy action figures, chemistry sets, toy cars and building blocks, they send another set of messages. Children learn through play and to some degree, the toys with which they play determine the skills and roles they learn.

In recent years, shifting social attitudes, as well as a growing awareness of the issues surrounding gender identity and gender stereotyping have made this distinction less rigid. Much research has been done on the subject of kid's toys and gender-stereotyping, and a general consensus appears to be emerging that, for a child to develop in a more holistic fashion, it's good for them to have access to both traditionally "masculine" and "feminine" toys. On a practical level, it's great for learning and development, after all, a boy becomes a man, and a grown man shouldn't be afraid of the kitchen in this day and age. But it also plays an important part in social development and contributes to a deeper understanding of the oft-remarked-upon gap between the sexes.

LEGO: Inspire Imagination – Inspire Imagination

Materials and Toy Safety

Transformers action figureOver the years, toys have been made from a variety of different materials, from the early days of wood, cloth and metal, to the pervasive plastic of modern times. Whatever a toy is made from, the most important factor for parents must be that it's safe for their child. Kids have a habit of putting things in their mouth, so it's imperative that their toys are not poisonous or harmful to a child's development.

In recent years, there have been mounting concerns about toxic chemicals used in toy manufacture, especially in those toys that are made in China. Around 85% of the world's toys come from China, and despite the Chinese government introducing regulation of the country's toy industry in 2007, there have been several high-profile toy recalls since then covered in the media, leading many parent groups to claim that Chinese regulation does not go far enough and is also not sufficiently enforced. In 2011, research carried out by Greenpeace found that around 30 % of Chinese-made toys contain heavy metals and 10 % contain excessive traces of lead.

Toys produced in the European Union must adhere to very strict regulations about what can and can't be used in their manufacture. The EU's Toy Safety Directive spells out a list of requirements that toys must comply with before they can be released onto the market and marketed as being safe for children. All EU-made products that comply with the Directive receive a CE Mark, a compulsory requirement and one that many parents look for in the toys that they buy for their children.

Where To Buy Toys Online

There's a whole host of online retailers selling a range of children's toys. Toy 'R' Us are one of the most well-known, along with the world famous Hamley's of Regent Street. Also, high street favourites John Lewis, online giant Amazon and supermarket chains like Asda and Tesco stock a vast range of different kid's toys.

What To Look for When Choosing a Toy

Both research and experience place an emphasis on five factors to thinking about when choosing a toy for your child.

  • Price: Does it fit your budget?
  • Design: Is the toy easy to use and understand? Is it visually interesting? Has it been well thought out in terms of its design?
  • Play worth: Does it teach a new skill? Foster a child's creativity and hold their interest?
  • Quality: Is the toy safe? Is it durable? Does it have a CE Mark?
  • Values: Does it promote environmental, social or community awareness?
  • Appropriateness: Does it fit the age, abilities and interests of your child?

If the answer to all these questions is a "yes", then you can go ahead and buy it in the knowledge that it's the right kind of toy for your child.

Fisher price vehicle

Who's Who in the Toy World

If you're looking for a big-name brand toy, but you're stuck for ideas, here's a few of the biggest names in children's toys to give you some inspiration.

  • Playmobil: This German company have been a household name since the 1970s when their now instantly recognisable product first hit the market.
  • MGA Entertainment: Not a household name in itself until the word "Bratz" is mentioned.
  • Hasbro: Founded in 1923 by the Hassenfeld Brothers (Has-bro), they have brought the world Transformers, My Little Pony, Action Man and Play-Doh.
  • Mattel: Founded in 1945, Mattel are one of the world's best-known toy companies, making favourites like Barbie, Fisher Price, WWE figurines and the card game Uno.
  • LEGO: These little bricks from Denmark have been part of the world since 1949. Loved by kids and adults alike, it's fun and creative and in 2015, LEGO surpassed Mattel to become the biggest toy brand in the world.

The Best Time to Buy Kid's Toys

Put very generally, the best time to buy toys or, at least, the one that causes the least damage to your wallet, is in the run up to Christmas. Black Friday usually marks the beginning of the cheaper period for buying kid's toys, though, in 2015, one study showed that the best day was actually two days before Black Friday on November 26. Either way, it is without question that from late-November to Christmas is the time to buy cheap toys.

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