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Monday, 28 January, 2002, 13:43 GMT
Robot toys are tops
Bionicles, Lego
Bionicles have captured childrens' imaginations
Remote-controlled robot creatures have scooped best toy award at the UK annual Toy Fair in Docklands, London.

Bionicles are made by Lego and come with their own website, which tells the tale of their fight with evil forces on the island of Mata Nui.

Each figure, which has its own characteristics, is both a construction and action toy.

The way children are playing nowadays involves the web and software games

Lego spokeswoman
According to the British Association of Toy Retailers, the Bionicles were a clear winner.

"It has been a consistent best seller all year," said a BATR spokeswoman.

"We thought Lego's Harry Potter castle might win, but Bionicles way outsold it."

Sophisticated toys

Lego has already made a cool 6m from the toys and plans a new range of remote-controlled ones soon. It believes the success of the toys could be down to its multimedia qualities.

"The way children are playing nowadays involves the web and software games," said a Lego spokeswoman.

"The stories behind Bionicles captures their imagination."

According to BTexact futurologist Ian Pearson, robot toys are going to become increasingly sophisticated this decade.

By 2010, toys that can respond emotionally to their owners will be commonplace he predicts.

The Bionicle range of toys had angered New Zealand Maori groups, which claimed the company had appropriated their language and images for use in its products.

In October, Lego agreed to stop using offending words in any further launches of the Bionicle range, offering to help a code of conduct for the use of traditional knowledge in the manufacture of toys.

See also:

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Robo-cat is out of the bag
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Maori take on hi-tech Lego toys
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Lego game irks Maoris
10 Jan 01 | Business
Microsoft and Lego link
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