Wallets will be feeling a lot lighter for many Peterborough parents this Christmas after their children were let loose at a toy testing event in Queensgate Shopping Centre.
Mothers eager for a rest must have been thrilled when they spotted a play area just outside the bottom floor of John Lewis, but the joy of seeing their offspring entertained for a lengthy period of time was swiftly overtaken by the realisation that they now had to splash out on several ‘must buy’ toys this Christmas.
From audio books to remote-controlled cars and video games there was something for children of all ages, and their toys of choice even left many parents surprised. Jenny Arnold from Sawtry was visiting Queensgate with twins Isabelle and Sebastian (2), son Ben Farey (9) and daughter Charlie Farey (15).
Seeing Sebastian playing with the remote-controlled car, she said: “I had not thought about putting that on the wish-list, but I might need to now.”
Ellie Walsh from Stanground read about the toy testing on Facebook and brought children George (6) and 15-month-old Rose along.
Ellie was surprised to see Rose quietly playing with a toy cash register, while George grabbed hold of a huge nerf gun and started spraying balls in the direction of Spiderman who had decided to pay Peterborough a visit.
“It’s nice, but whether he gets a massive gun for Christmas is another thing,” said Ellie, who believed the event had given her a few ideas for the festive season. The biggest winner of the day was Lilly Etches of Woodston who was celebrating her second birthday and loved Lolly The Elephant. Mum Lisa said: “That will be a late addition for her birthday.”
Lisa’s sons Reece (9) and Charlie (6) were also keeping themselves entertained with the nerf gun and remote-controlled car. Another child who could not get enough of the cars was three-year-old Jasmine Barnes. Asked what toys she liked she said: “The cars. I like the red one. It’s going round!”
Mum Donna said: “We had an opportunity to play with things we normally would not have known about.”
The event was not just a fun day for the children, it also allowed the latest toys, gizmos and gadgets which will hit the stores this Christmas to be reviewed and graded.
The little ones, with the help of an adult, marked each toy they played with out of five, and the top-scoring toys made it onto Peterborough’s top 10 Christmas list for 2016.
Last year’s winner was John Lewis’ remote-controlled Yoda which was a huge hit with children, especially with the recent launch of the new Star Wars film.