A worldwide shortage of specially designed girls' Lego sets has left few available for local Christmas shoppers, a Hastings toy shop warns.
"We only have a few [Friends Lego sets] left," Toyworld owner Hugh Ross said.
"For years people have been wanting Lego for girls. It's pink Lego, based around dolls and horse riding and stables."
The original building blocks remained the top seller for boys this season, Mr Ross said.
The Leap Pad Two, which was like an iPad for children, had been another hit at the Hastings store.
Mr Ross said Christmas shoppers had been trickling in for some weeks.
Meanwhile, Trade Me statistics show Hawke's Bay online toy buyers have favoured new radio-controlled vehicles and Lego and building toys in the last 45 days.
But miniature toys such as Sylvanian families and Littlest Pet Shop are the slowest selling toys for Bay Trade Me users.
Trade Me spokesman Paul Ford said more than one million new items were listed for sale last week: "[It's] definitely not just a garage sale any more."
New trampoline purchases had clocked up the highest sales value figures in the past 45 days.
Lego and building toys were the website's most popular new-toy purchases, followed by radio-controlled vehicles and ride-on toys.
South Islanders had been more generous with their Christmas purchases, spending slightly more on average than their North Island counterparts.
Women, especially mums, had bought a lot of Lego and building toys, dolls and metal toys.
Radio-controlled vehicle toys, models and metal toys were popular purchases for men.
Top picks for book-lovers this season included Richie McCaw and Valerie Adams' biographies, Whitcoulls marketing manager Maggie Butler said. JK Rowling's first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy and Dr Libby's Real Food Cook Book were also selling well.
Whitcoulls' picks for children included storybook Read Me Another One Please, featuring stories and poems from local authors including Tessa Duder, Margaret Mahy and Joy Cowley.
Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid had also been popular.
Meantime, shoppers are being asked to spare a thought for families unable to fill their own Christmas stockings.
Major Pam Waugh, of the Salvation Army, said Christmas was often a difficult time for many Kiwi families.
"There's lots of pressure for our families and a lot of them are coping with a huge amount of debt - prices, rent and power have gone up over the year."
People keen to help could place a wrapped gift under any of the K-Mart wishing trees around the country, Major Waugh said.
"That's a wish for every child - a new toy, wrapped under the tree."
Tear Fund communications manager Helen Manson said New Zealanders could also buy gifts for residents in poverty-stricken countries through the charity's Gift For Life scheme.
Purchasers would receive a Christmas card to send out to their loved one or friend, Mrs Manson said.
"The card will tell them you have bought a gift on their behalf for someone overseas," she said.
"Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the actual item will be given to the person who needs it more."