All I want for Christ­mas is…

If you’re still scratch­ing your head over what to put un­der the tree for your loved one on this last shop­ping week­end be­fore the big day, read on. Week­end Ar­gus has taken a look at what’s fly­ing off the shelves and at the most de­sir­able gifts to give.

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - BIANCA CA­PA­ZO­RIO and LYSE COMINS

MIXER ETC say this year gad­gets are at the top of the wish lists of those who made Fa­ther Christ­mas’s “nice” list, while more tra­di­tional gifts like Lego, Baby Born dolls, cud­dly toys and car sets are still prov­ing pop­u­lar for younger chil­dren.

Mass­dis­coun­ters spokes­woman Shel­ley Kreinacke said the re­tailer, which owns Game and Dion­wired stores, ex­pected top gifts for adults to be tablets, cam­eras, lap­tops, smart­phones, tread­mills and sewing ma­chines. Big sell­ers for kids are ex­pected to be Nin­tendo Wii con­soles, Playsta­tion 3, tram­po­lines, bi­cy­cles and scoot­ers.

“We ex­pect con­sumers to once again spoil them­selves over the fes­tive sea­son, although our sense is that they will be some­what more cau­tious and prag­matic in their spend­ing pat­terns. While there are some signs of consumer con­fi­dence re­turn­ing, the mar­ket re­mains frag­ile,” Kreinacke said.

“As was the case last year, we ex­pect many con­sumers to re­place ex­trav­a­gant pur­chases with more prac­ti­cal pur­chases fo­cused on their kids and homes. Many con­sumers will travel less this year and that means they will spend more time at home en­ter­tain­ing and we ex­pect a strong per­for­mance in the re­lated cat­e­gories.”

Toys R Us South Africa and Reg­gies CEO Issy Zim­mer­man said Cha­ti­mals, cud­dly toys which mimic what you say and chat back, were prov­ing to be pop­u­lar choices. They sold more than 10 000 units within four weeks of be­ing launched lo­cally.

Hot gifts for girls in­cluded the Baby Born doll, a swim­ming doll and a van­ity ta­ble with re­mote con­trol. For boys, the Crazy Cars De­mo­li­tion set, Car­rera Go Cham­pi­ons, re­mote-con­trol hov­er­craft and the Fast­lane mon­ster truck were top of the list. Playsta­tion games PS3 Bat­tle­field 3 and Sky­lan­ders: Spyro’s Ad­ven­ture Starter Pack were also favourites.

Zim­mer­man rec­om­mended over a dozen gifts un­der R100, in­clud­ing toy trucks and bull­doz­ers, kitchen sets, the St­effi fam­ily and a mega art set.

“We are of­fer­ing our cus­tomers an af­ford­able range of qual­ity prod­ucts that are sure to bring loads of smiles this com­ing hol­i­day sea­son,” Zim­mer­man said.

The Toy Shop man­ager at The Pav­il­ion Shop­ping Cen­tre in Kwazulu- Na­tal, Pat Mccallum, said the Leap­ster Ex­plorer Leap Pad with a cam­era and a recorder (R1 200) had proved to be pop­u­lar but stocks were lim­ited. Other big hits were re­mote-con­trol cars and he­li­copters.

“We are sell­ing plenty of Lego and a va­ri­ety of smaller things this year, such as sci­ence sets, puz­zles and arts and crafts,” Mccallum said.

Dion­wired gen­eral man­ager An­drew Jack­son said the store’s buy­ers had ex­pected the top gifts for adults this year to be the Ap­ple ipad, the iphone 4S, the Black­Berry Torch 9810 smart­phone (R5 500) and the Sam­sung Galaxy S II smart­phone (R6 300).

Also pop­u­lar is the Dstv Mo­bile Drifta (R600), which al­lows cus­tomers to watch Dstv on their smart­phones, lap­tops, and tablets.

Cape Union Mart mar­ket­ing man­ager Nick Ben­nett said: “We’ve sold tons of gad­gets and good­ies – like Leather­man mul­ti­tools, GPSES, knives, head­lamps, K-way back­packs and Bear Grylls sur­vival kits. Then there were tents, sleep­ing bags and trail shoes – all firm favourites as South Africa steams into sum­mer. Our sell-outs in­clude beach and braai gear, in­clud­ing the funky and orig­i­nal ‘torch tongs’ – braai tongs with a LED torch in the han­dle.”

The com­pany’s Po­etry brand, mean­while, had seen shop­pers “on the hunt for ‘ hard- to- find’ gifts that would make any re­cip­i­ent feel spe­cial”.

“Our best­sellers have been our colour­ful Turk­ish bowls; one-of-akind em­bel­lished aprons; our Po­etry La Vie per­fume; mes­sage mugs which can be cus­tomised, and dis­tinc­tive sil­ver jew­ellery.

“Many of our cus­tomers are choos­ing to tai­lor ham­pers and fill ce­ramic plat­ters with a mix­ture of con­fec­tionery, bath and body prod­ucts and scarves to de­light even the fussi­est re­ceiver,” Ben­nett said.

If you’re look­ing for big-ticket items for the foodie in your life, Ali­son Dommisse, spokes­woman for online kitchen re­tail­ers Yup­piechef ( www. yup­piechef. co. za), rec­om­mends the space-age Bu­gatti ket­tle, made by the French su­per­car builders (R3 500), a Maxim The Glacier Ice Cream Maker (R5 995) and the Kitchenaid Ar­ti­san Stand Mixer (R5 490), de­scribed as the “most cov­eted kitchen tool in the world”.

The web­site sells sev­eral other kitchen gad­gets and items that would make per­fect stock­ing stuffers.

Dommisse rec­om­mends the Vic­tori­nox par­ing knife (R70), the Mode Egg Cubes – a square spin on the tra­di­tional egg cup (R140 for two) – and the five-blade scis­sors (R120), which shred herbs ef­fort­lessly.

CAN’T BEAT IT: The Kitchenaid Ar­ti­san Stand Mixer, above, has been de­scribed as the ‘most cov­eted kitchen tool in the world’.

ON THE BLOCK: Kevin Poul­ter and his sons, Daniel, 5, and Matthew, 7, con­struct de­tailed mod­els with Lego, which re­mains a favourite gift.

COME OUT OF YOUR

SHELL: Square egg

cups above, and the space-age Bu­gatti ket­tle, be­low

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