Online and in the shops

Star toys: Last year it was Frozen fever and Disney is set to dominate Christmas toy lists again for 2015 with Star Wars, which some retailers are already predicting is going to be the toy franchise of the decade.

Smyths released its Top Toys for Christmas 2015 list last week, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens Interactive figures, €144.99 each, which will be available in November.

The latest Lego version of the iconic Millennium Falcon, €139.99, age 9+, is also expected to be popular.

But there are Star Wars toys for all tastes and budgets, like Hasbro’s Star Wars The Force Awakens line which includes action figures, light sabers, Nerf guns and Monopoly, with prices from €6.99. Lego fans also have lots to choose from, including the less complicated and more affordable, Rey’s Speeder, €24.99, age 7+.

Online and in the shops

Other toys on Smyths’ list include Our Generation dolls, €39.99, age 3+; the Shopkins Ice Cream Truck, €28.49, age 5+ and VTech’s Toot Toot Friends Discovery House, €49.99, age 1+; www.smythstoys.com 

Wooden wonders:

At Argos, there will be almost 60 new Star Wars themed toys and accessories to choose from this year. However, wooden toys are also staging something of a comeback with sales up 138% compared to this time last year, according to Argos toy brand Chad Valley. 

Online and in the shops

Its top-selling wooden toy is an activity table, €73.99, age 18m+, with different interactive elements for shape and colour recognition and developing problem solving and fine motor skills. New toys for Christmas include a wooden kitchen, €25.99 and farm, €44.49, age 3+; www.argos.ie 

Online and in the shops

Durable buys:

Online Irish toyshop, Mimitoys offers a range of mainly European-made toys, selected for play value and durability. 

Their selection this year includes My School in a Suitcase, €35.95, age 3+, made of thick cardboard which closes with magnets, with 30 wooden accessories.

There are also new science kits, €34.95, age 7+ and a wooden egg stacking game for littleones, €12.95, age 3+; www.mimitoys.ie 


Lifestyle

Tinfoil hats were the headwear of choice at Keith Barry's enjoyable show, writes Esther N McCarthyREVIEW: Keith Barry at the Everyman in Cork

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine advises a woman whose husband’s controlling behaviour is making her feel trapped.Ask a counsellor: Why has my husband become so jealous and possessive?

More From The Irish Examiner