CaptureTWO tireless testers have been putting this year’s top toys through their paces in a bid to help parents struggling for gift ideas this Christmas.

Gateshead’s intu Metrocentre’s Heads of Fun, Mac Toal, from Prudhoe and his deputy, Myah Rose Wilson, from Sunderland, have had a frantic – but fun – start to the festive season.

Not only have they welcomed Santa Claus to the centre’s grotto, but they have also tried out the hundreds of games, puzzles, gadgets, costumes and action figures on sale in the UK’s largest shopping centre.

And now eight-year-old Mac and seven-year-old Myah have compiled a list of their must-have toys, to provide inspiration for those with youngsters to buy for this Christmas.

Topping Mac’s list were Star Wars-themed goodies, such as new characters Kylo Ren and Stormtrooper costumes as well as the BB-8 droid from the Disney Store, with traditional favourites such as Lego from the centre’s very own Lego Store and Scalextric from ModelZone also proving popular.

Meanwhile, Myah’s favourites included board games such as Logo What Am I, from WH Smith, Lego Store’s Friends sets and brightly-coloured satchels and art packs from Australian children’s stationery brand, Smiggle.

Other toys which scored highly with the pair included the Disney Store’s Tsum Tsum toys, the Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance and Move BeatBo, for younger children and the Frozen Sing a Long Elsa Doll.

“We had loads of fun testing out all the toys, deciding which ones we would really like and which might be best for older or younger kids.” said Mac, Head of Fun.

“There’s so much to choose from but I’m sure loads of children across the country are asking Santa for these toys for Christmas.”

The toy testing has been one of a number of fun activities Mac and Myah have undertaken in the run up to Christmas.

Along with joining former X Factor entrant Lola Saunders and the Moffatt family from tv’s Gogglebox for the centre’s Christmas light switch-on, they also welcomed Santa Claus to his intu Metrocentre grotto.

Every day from now until Christmas Eve, children from across the region will be able to visit Santa Claus at his free, magical grotto underneath the giant Christmas tree in the centre’s Qube.

And not only will each child receive an early gift, but they will also be able to give Santa their Christmas lists to take back to the elves in their Lapland workshop.

Santa’s Grotto, at the Qube, which is free to visit, is open from 10am until 8pm Monday to Friday, from 9am until 7pm Saturdays and from 11am until 5pm Sundays, closing at 4pm on Christmas Eve.

intu Metrocentre is now open longer for Christmas shoppers; Mondays – Friday 9am – 10pm, Saturdays 9am – 8pm and Sundays 11am – 5pm with further extended hours on Black Friday (Friday 27 November) 7am – 10pm.

For more information about Christmas at intu Metrocentre, please visit www.intu.co.uk/metrocentre/Christmas

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