FATHER Christmas’s elves have had their work cut out this year making lots of traditional toys for the children of East Lancashire.

Toy shops across the region have reported that the more timeless gifts, like wooden blocks, Postman Pat figures and circus-based skill toy diabolos, have been topping the lists sent off to the North Pole.

Rose Fowler, owner of Mercers Toys, in Darwen Road, Blackburn, said that although it was difficult economic times for independent stores, traditional items had still been flying off the shelves.

She said: “People have been going for the more traditional toys.

“It has been a trying year this year.

“People have been watching what they are spending, but it has picked up in the last couple of weeks.

“It is going to be a great Christmas and all of the children are getting very excited.”

Rose added that on average people had been spending around £30 per visit, but that toys from the £50 to £100 range had been selling a little slower.

And Beth France, owner of Timeless Toys, in Church Street, Colne, said families were getting into the Christmas spirit to try to forget the difficult year they had had.

She said:“It has been so miserable this year that people are just wanting to spend and have a good Christmas.

“They are trying not to think about the recession and the cuts and are getting really excited.

“It has been better than last year.

“A lot of people have left it until the last few days and we have been run off our feet.

“It is looking like we will have had quite a significant increase on last year.

“We are very specialised, but people know they won’t have to replace wooden toys.

“I would say the average spend is around £40, but we have had some people spending £1,000 on a child.

“It tends to be that people buy one big Christmas present, but then get the accessories to go with it.”

Top most treasured toys from the past 50 years according to a Safestore and YouGov survey

  • 1.  Teddy bear or cuddly toy
  • 2.  Bike, rollerblades, scooter, skateboard or BMX
  • 3.  Board game or jigsaw
  • 4.  Lego and Duplo
  • 5.  Doll
  • 6.  Scalextric or train set
  • 7.  An electrical device such as a Walkman, first mobile or PC
  • 8.  Game console such as a Wii or Gameboy or computer games
  • 9.  Action figure such as Action Man
  • 10.  A collectible figure set such as Care Bears, Star  Wars or My Little Pony