Christmas: Trade Me reveals the top 10 toys for Kiwi kids this silly season

Composite of several Trade Me toy picks against background of Santa shushing
Photo credit: Getty Images / Trade Me / Supplied

With just five weeks until old mate Santa Claus squeezes down the chimney, many parents across the motu will be busy making their shopping list (and checking it twice - we are in a cost of living crisis, after all).  

To help with the all-important present prep, the folks at Trade Me have analysed the most popular searches on the platform, as well as consumer trends both nationally and internationally, to predict the top 10 toys that will be sitting under the tree on Christmas morning.  

From pocket-sized pottery to a design-your-own Barbie Dreamhouse, there is something for everyone this year, said Trade Me spokesperson Millie Silvester. The release of the list coincides with the Black Friday sales, which have commenced this week for many businesses and retailers.

Speaking about the findings, Silvester noted that almost half of Trade Me's top picks feature arts-and-crafts and encourage creativity, whether it be designing, building, or moulding.

And unsurprisingly, there has been a 51 percent annual increase in searches for 'Barbie' on the back of Greta Gerwig's hit blockbuster earlier this year. 

"It's no surprise that Barbie mania has translated into Christmas gifts this year after Greta Gerwig's box office hit. Barbie's Dreamhouse was an iconic part of the movie and now kids can bring their own dream home to life with this two storey DIY kit which includes a range of stickers for budding designers to decorate each space to their liking," Silvester explained.

"For crafty 'tweens', the miniature pottery studio is set to be number one on wishlists for 2023. Inspired by a viral TikTok trend, this kit offers a mess-free way for kids to try to create 10 different ceramic pieces using quick-dry clay and with their own spinning wheel."

Ongoing '90s-2000s nostalgia has also fuelled toy trends this year, helping to reboot classics like the handheld digital pet Tamagotchi, which has made a dramatic comeback after their original release in the late 1990s - now with a Harry Potter theme.

Rounding off the list are several festive favourites which make for great stocking fillers or Secret Santa presents, Silvester said.

"Lego is a timeless favourite, loved by all ages, and Star Wars is a top contender in searches on Trade Me – so it's a definite crowd-pleaser. Another fantastic choice for the whole whānau is Twister Air, which now has a virtual spin. Forget the slippery mat - in this version, players wear wristbands and swipe at colours using an app on a screen.

"While it might not challenge balance like the original, it's still a bit of a workout as players have to race each other to move their arms and feet quickly to match the colours."

Trade Me spokesperson Millie Silvester
Trade Me spokesperson Millie Silvester. Photo credit: Supplied

With the silly season just around the corner, Silvester urged savvy shoppers to get started on their lists sooner rather than later - especially as toys are in high demand.   

"There's nothing worse than leaving shopping to the last minute - especially when you take into account delivery times. I'd highly encourage all gift-givers to get online and start their shopping early to have Christmas purchases all wrapped up and ready for the big day.  

"There are thousands of new and preloved toys available onsite so you can find the perfect gift this Christmas without breaking the bank."  

Of this year's top 10, four are in the $60 and under bracket, the cheapest being the 'Axel the Purple Beetle' Squishmallow at $18.99.  

Trade Me's Top Toy List for 2023  

  1. Make It Real Pottery  
  2. Make Your Own Barbie Dreamhouse  
  3. Little Live Pets - Mama Surprise  
  4. Cookeez Makery Oven  
  5. Build-a-Bot  
  6. Crawling Crab  
  7. Harry Potter Tamagotchi  
  8. Lego Star Wars Stormtrooper  
  9. Twister Air  
  10. Beetle Squishmallow.  

Price breakdown


  • Lego Star Wars Stormtrooper  
  • Beetle Squishmallow   


  • Build-a-Bot  
  • Crawling Crab  


  • Twister Air  
  • Make Your Own Barbie Dreamhouse  
  • Cookeez Makery Oven  
  • Harry Potter Tamagotchi  


  • Make It Real Pottery  
  • Little Live Pets - Mama Alive.