Toy-sellers need to be a lot more creative if they want to compete with the online market, the organisers of a major Toy Fair being held in Dublin today claim.
Large crowds are expected at the RDS later, as the official countdown to Christmas begins on this, the first day of December.
The average Irish household will fork out almost €900 on this year's festivities, including around €500 on presents.
Predicted to be among the best-selling toys of Christmas 2013 is the Furby – a robotic, furry animal that looks like an owl.
Toy Fair organiser, Patrick O'Sullivan says today's event offers people an experience that internet shopping can't compare to.
The online trade has certainly expanded the market, but it's also made the traditional market [need to be] a lot more creative," he said
"We've had to make it much more of an experience. It's not just logging in online, selecting an item, and then it gets delivered a week or two later. You can come down and touch the toys, you can play with them, you can feel them."