What’s at the top of Kiwi kids’ Christmas wish-lists?
Less than a month out from Christmas, New Zealand Post has offered an exclusive insight into what Kiwi kids hope to find under the tree this year - courtesy of the thousands of letters sent to Santa Claus.
Children who write to Santa Claus, c/o Santa's Workshop, North Pole 0001 – or through the New Zealand Post website at nzpost.co.nz/christmas – between now and Wednesday 14 December will receive a letter in their mailbox from the big guy himself before Christmas.
There's no age limit – but any kid (or adventurous adult) who wants a response from Santa needs to ensure they include their full name and their correct mailing address.
“Based on previous experience we'd expect to see upwards of 100,000 letters to Santa by the close off date in mid-December,” New Zealand Post spokesman Michael Tull says.
“I have it on good authority, from a slightly loose-lipped elf who'd had too many wine-gums, that some clear patterns are emerging in terms of what Kiwi kids want.”
Traditional favourites feature prominently – with many 3-to-7 year olds wishing for Lego, scooters, books and dolls (and yes, Barbie still reigns supreme).
Books and scooters are also much sought after by older kids and 'tweens – with more advanced Lego sets also popular. Skateboards and bikes feature prominently on many wish lists among this older crowd.
Two wishes which pop up frequently across both age groups are paddling pools and video games – with younger children often generically wishing for “a video game” while older kids often get very specific about exactly which game Santa and his elves should magic up for them.
However many Kiwi kids are wishing for items which weren't around when their parents were in short pants. Three recent innovations which appear again and again on Kiwi wish-lists are:
Beyblades – brightly coloured spinning tops based on a Japanese anime series.
Nerf guns – brightly coloured plastic guns which fire foam darts, discs or in some cases water. An America favourite for generations, they were rare in New Zealand until recent years.
Mighty Beanz – an Australian invention; plastic capsules in a myriad of designs which twist and tumble in unpredictable ways thanks to a metal weight inside.
“Parents will be relieved to know that a lot of the things kids are wishing for this year in their personal correspondence with Santa aren't expensive – and some of them don't cost anything at all - like having a nice Christmas with their friends and family,” Michael Tull added.
“You can't put a price on that.”