I know that the last thing kids need in the run up to Christmas is more toys. But I do love a good Advent Calendar. The rise in non-chocolate advent calendars has been significant over the past few years and not just for kids either. Beauty and boozy calendars are amongst the more popular offering for the grown ups, while there are increasing numbers of toy advent calendars for the children.
As an alternative to chocolate or sugary treats, these really are a fab option for excited kids waiting for Santa to arrive. Here’s my rundown of what look like the best toy advent calendars on the market in 2020.
Best Toy Advent Calendars 2020
Thomas Minis Advent Calendar 2020
My sons are (at the time of writing) 5 months, and half years and 5 and a half years old. The older two LOVE their Thomas Minis. They’ve collected dozens over the years and have a couple of tracks and circuits for them too.
So the Thomas Minis advent calendar is an option I could see working really well for them. Main pros, for me:
- It’s 24 ENGINES. With some toy advent calendars you have to deal with the fact that maybe only a fraction of what you get is an actual toy the child might associate with the brand (e.g. with Hot Wheels where 8 of the 24 days are cars and the rest are not). So that’s a really clear benefit.
- We already have storage for the Minis. So it’s not like a whole new toy collection (24 of them!) that you have to find a home for
- It reflects really good value at less than £1 per engine
- The Christmas special ones are really cute!
Lego City Advent Calendar 2020
There are a number of Lego Advent Calendars available and we’ve done a separate comparison of those here. But this one was nominated as the favourite by our 5 year old. It’s a high quality toy advent calendar from one of the world’s most trusted toy brands. A few things to note:
- It comes with 6 figures including Lego Santa!
- Comes with its own small play mat
- You can, of course, easily store it with any existing Lego so again, no need to find alternative places to house new advent calendar toys
- Great value
Playmobil Christmas in the Toy Shop Advent Calendar
We have a ton of Playmobil stuff in our house and it seems almost timeless. Our 5 year old enjoys some of it as much now as he did when he was three.
We’ve rounded up the Playmobil advent calendar options for the year here. But for our ultimate list of favourite toy advent calendars, it had to be this one – Christmas in the Toy Shop.
For me, if you’re going to get a toy advent calendar from a brand you already own toys from, making it Christmas themed is a way to make it that extra bit special.
At the end of the 24 days of this one, you’ll have a beautiful little Playmobil toy shop scene.
A few key features:
Hot Wheels Advent Calendar 2020
My 3 year old and 5 year old both LOVE Hot Wheels and we have several tracks and accessories that work with them. So a Hot Wheels advent calendar, on the face of it, would be a great idea. My only reservation is that only 8 of the days actually come with cars in. Now for my eldest, that would be an easy explanation. But I do wonder whether my 3 year old would be disappointed about the fact that two thirds of the windows he opens would not contain cars.
That’s not to say the other bits are bad… just that sometimes the expectations of younger children can be that everything will be what they are used to getting from a brand they are familiar with.
A few features:
- 8 Hot Wheels cars. And while that is only a third of the contents, it does represent good value
- A much loved brand and something you might already have a collection of. It’s always easier to just be able to add advent calendar toys to an existing collection rather than trying to find somewhere else to store them
Dinosaurs Advent Calendar
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I’ve never heard of this brand before but when we came to compile this list, I asked my own children what appeals to them. They agreed that dinosaurs would be a top notch choice for an advent calendar.
Really simple. There’s a dinosaur for each of the 24 days of advent so you know exactly how to set expectations.
- Brilliant for fans of dinosaurs
- Amass a collection of 24 different dinosaurs in the countdown to Christmas
Polly Pocket Advent Calendar
My three year old son loves his doll and his pram. But he’s never shown an interest in Polly Pocket and when I showed both my 3 and 5 year old, neither were particularly taken. Not a great selling point, I know. But I included it anyway because I know how much I loved Polly Pocket myself growing up and I reckon this would be a hit with today’s fans of the brand too.
Features you need to know about:
- Comes with a range of toys including Polly Pocket dolls, accessories, buildings and vehicles
- At the end of advent you have a great winter Polly Pocket scene
Other Toy Advent Calendars
What will you be buying this year? Any we’ve missed here that really should be included? Let us know!