The top toys for Christmas 2021 have been announced - at least, according to one of the UK’s major experts. With severe shipping delays and an estimated 90,000 more HGV drivers needed, there’s talk of a Christmas crisis this year. Shops are worried about keeping their shelves stocked, kids are worried about missing out and parents are worried about Christmas morning tantrums.

So what are the main must-haves that’ll be flying off the shelves as fast as they arrive in the coming months? Here are the top 5 predictions from the toy specialists at Hamleys:

1) Playmobil City Action Police Special Operations Police Robot (£20)

It might look like something you’d use to throw an Alien Queen out of an airlock, but this transforming robot battlesuit’s true purpose is keeping the streets safe for the law-abiding plastic folk of Playmobil-world. Comes complete with, if you can believe this, an explosives-wielding bank robber to apprehend.

2) Orboot Earth Interactive AR Globe by PlayShifu (£50)

Educational toys are back in fashion this year, and this interactive globe is a top pick for 2021. Using the app, you scan a region on the 10” globe toy to be taken on a fun and informative journey of fascinating facts, quizzes, puzzles and more. Apple and Android devices are supported.

3) Magic Mixies Cauldron (£70)

Looking to add a little magic to your kids’ lives? You could do a lot worse than this charming little set of sorcerous ingredients and apparatus. You get a cauldron, a wand and the spell components to conjure up a furry familiar called a “Mixie” from the steaming (yes, literally) depths of your potion. Between the cauldron and the Mixie, the set features around 50 sounds and reactions to delight magically inclined kids.

4) Mattel – Barbie Dream House (£310)

You can’t argue with success, and the Barbie brand has truly stood the test of time. This latest version of the classic Dream House stands an impressive 3 feet in height and features a working lift, a topical home office, a second-storey pool and all the lights and sounds you’d expect from this 70-piece monster playset.

5) LOL Surprise Movie Magic Doll (£11)

LOL Surprise Movie Magic dolls come with a range of unusual features, including movie props, film scenes and 3D glasses. Each doll gets its own cue card, and they’re designed to combine together to uncover secret messages and other surprises. No, we don’t really get it either – but they’re set to be a super-hot Christmas list item this year.

As for what to do about the possible shortages on the toyshop shelves this festive season, the best advice right now seems to be to shop early. Leaving everything to the last minute is still something of a British Christmas tradition, but things are definitely changing. A large chunk of the UK public has already kicked off its festive spending spree before the end of September, and they’re reaping the benefits in better availability and lower prices.

While you’re planning out your Christmas budget, remember to check our simple guide to making every pound count, and then pick up some personal favourite money saving hacks from the RIFT team themselves!