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  • Nearly half of the battery-operated toys on the major Christmas top toys list do not have batteries included
  • Parents urged to get ‘battery smart’ as the average family will require 24 extra batteries this Christmas
  • Operating on 14 AA batteries, the Laser Battle Hunters Vehicles Set is this year’s most battery-hungry toy
  • Almost two thirds of parents have forgotten to buy batteries, with festive sales peaking on 24th December

"Batteries Not Included" is possibly the most dreaded toy label for a parent to discover on Christmas Day, yet nearly half of all the battery-operated toys on the top toys for Christmas 2020 lists do not include any batteries, despite some requiring up to 14 batteries.

The study by the German premium battery brand, VARTA, reviewed the Christmas top toy lists from Amazon, John Lewis, Argos and Mumsnet and identified which toys need additional batteries and which come with batteries included.

As well as finding that nearly half the toys across the four lists require batteries to power them, the study also discovered that 30% of the toys across the lists require five batteries upwards, including the Present Pets Spin Master, PAW Patrol Dino Rescue Dino Patroller, LOL Surprise OMG Remix Plane, the Botley 2.0 and the Fisher-Price Rollin’ Rovee.

With parents on Mumsnet admitting to buying at least 10 toys per child at Christmas, and each of the battery-operated toys on the lists requiring four batteries on average, parents who want to avoid screams of joy turning to tears because the kids can’t power up their new gadgets will, according to VARTA, need to stock up on an additional 24 batteries for the big day.*

However, research over the years has shown that batteries are the single most forgotten item on the seasonal shopping list** and research by VARTA, has found that nearly two thirds of parents (62%) have forgotten to buy batteries when needed and that this causes an average of three tantrums, per family.***

Kantar data from December 2019, shows that more shoppers buy batteries in the 12 weeks of Christmas*** and sales data from VARTA highlights Christmas Eve as the day in the festive calendar when battery sales peak. The company attributes this increase to panicked parents making last minute battery purchases.

According to VARTA, whose AA LONGLIFE Power battery has been named a Which? Best Buy product, not all batteries are created equal, and buying them at the last minute can often lead to costly yet avoidable choices, with parents often grabbing the wrong power source for their kids’ devices.

Toys are high-drain devices and get through batteries quickly, and so the batteries most suited to power medium-drain devices, such as fairy lights, or low drain devices, such as remote controls, won’t last long if used to power this Christmas’ most powerful toys. VARTA recommends that parents get ‘Battery Smart’ this year and look out for batteries with a long life and powerful energy consumption when selecting power sources for 2020’s top Christmas toys.

With toys on this year’s lists, such as the Laser Battle Hunters Vehicle Set, which needs a massive 14 AA batteries to get it going, and the PAW Patrol Dino Rescue Dino Patroller, which features on three out of the four lists and requires six AA batteries to power it, picking the right battery for your child’s device could make the difference between it running out on Boxing Day or lasting into the New Year.

According to Which?, the worst disposable AA batteries last just six hours and the best, which include VARTA batteries, provide over nine hours of fun. In fact, VARTA’S LONGLIFE Power and LONGLIFE Max Power batteries have been proven in extensive internal battery testing and in research against competitor products to perform better in motorised and non-motorised toys than their closest competitor.

To help parents identify the best batteries for their little ones’ festive gifts, VARTA has compiled a helpful guide outlining which batteries should be used with which Christmas toys from the Amazon, John Lewis, Argos and Mumsnet lists:



No of

 Type of


Recommended battery

 Laser 33298 Battle Hunters Vehicle  14  AA  No  LONGLIFE Power AA
 Present Pets – Spin Master  6  AAA  Yes  LONGLIFE Power AAA
 PAW Patrol Dino Rescue Dino Patroller  6  AA  Yes  LONGLIFE Power AA
 LOL Surprise OMG Remix Plane  6  AG13  Yes  VARTA V13GA
 Botley 2.0  5  AAA  No  VARTA LONGLIFE Max Power AAA
 Fisher-Price Rollin’ Rovee  5  AA  Yes  LONGLIFE Power AA
 Artie 3000 Coding Robot  4  AA  No  VARTA LONGLIFE Max Power AA
 Squeakee Interactive Balloon Dog  4  AA  No  VARTA LONGLIFE Max Power AA
 Poopsie Dancing Unicorn  3  AA  Yes  VARTA LONGLIFE Max Power AA
 Dobble 360  3  AA  No  VARTA LONGLIFE Power AA
 Little Live Pets ‘Gotta Go Flamingo’  3  AA  Yes  VARTA LONGLIFE Power AA
 LeapFrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart  3  AA  Yes  VARTA LONGLIFE Power AA
 L.O.L Surprise! OMG Fashion Dolls Series 3  3  LR44  Yes  VARTA V13GA
 The Child Animatronic Edition – Baby Yoda  3  AAA  No  VARTA LONGLIFE Power AAA
 Vtech Feathers & Feelings Peacock  2  AA  Yes  VARTA LONGLIFE AA
 LEGO Gingerbread House  2  LR41  Yes  VARTA V392
 LEGO Super Mario Adventures Starter Course Interactive Figure and Buildable Game
 2 AAA
 Playmobil Back to the Future DeLorean Toy  2  AAA  No  VARTA LONGLIFE Power AAA
 BRIO Smart Tech Sound  1  AA  No  VARTA LONGLIFE AA
 John Lewis & Partners Waitrose Supermarket                             
 1  LR1131  No  VARTA V10GA

Mona Chan, Marketing Manager at VARTA, said: “Christmas is an exciting yet stressful time for many parents. With the average UK household needing to stock up on 24 additional batteries for the big day, we are urging parents not to fall at the final hurdle and to check to gifts to see if batteries are included.

“We hope that by sharing our Top Toy Battery Guide we can ensure that every family’s festive cheer lasts past the big day. This handy guide allows shoppers to identify which batteries are required for every toy on the four top toy lists and if these are included with the product. It also outlines which batteries are the right ones for each toy, not only helping parents to make smart choices based on best performance and value for money but also ones that ensure the fun of playing with a new toy endures into the New Year.”

VARTA, is one of the biggest producers of batteries and power sources at the highest technological level in Europe and is the only battery brand that has colour coded packaging with useful device icons to help shoppers determine the best battery for their device.

With over 130 years history, VARTA’s product offering includes traditional AA and AAA batteries through to specialist electronic and power banks and in December 2019, Ethical Consumer named VARTA as the joint number one ethical battery brand. VARTA batteries are available at B&Q, Screwfix, Dunelm, Home Bargains and Amazon, to ensure Christmas goes off without a hitch.


* With mums on Mumsnet admitting to giving their children at least 10 presents each, then if half of these need batteries and then half of these don’t come with batteries included in the pack, an additional 10 batteries will be needed per child Based on the average UK household size of 2.4 children this equates to 24 additional batteries / ** Links to forgotten battery research: Morrisons / *** Little Life Savers research conducted in March 2019, surveying 2015 brits’, April 2019 / **** Kantar Total market 12 weeks to 29th December 2019 / ***** VARTA Consumer Batteries Internal IEC testing study


VARTA AG produces and markets a comprehensive battery portfolio, ranging from microbatteries, household batteries, energy storage systems to customer-specific battery solutions for a wide range of applications, and, as a technology leader, sets industry standards in key areas. As the parent company of the Group, it operates in the business segments “Microbatteries & Solutions” and “Household Batteries”.
The “Microbatteries & Solutions” segment focuses on the OEM business for microbatteries as well as on the lithium-ion battery pack business. Through intensive research and development, VARTA sets global standards in the microbattery sector and is a recognized innovation leader in the important growth markets of lithium-ion technology and primary hearing aid batteries. The “Household Batteries” segment comprises the battery business for end customers, including household batteries, rechargeable batteries, chargers, portable power (power banks) and lights as well as energy storage devices. The VARTA AG Group currently employs almost 4,000 people. With five production and manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia, and distribution centers in Asia, Europe and the USA, VARTA AG’s operating subsidiaries are currently active in over 75 countries worldwide.

Contact PR Agency

VARTA Consumer Batteries UK Ltd
Suite 49 Earl Business Centre,
Oldham, Greater Manchester,
OL8 2PF, England