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Friday, 26 October, 2001, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Top ten toys for Christmas
Bob the Builder - drilling toy
Bob the Builder: back on the list for a second year running
By BBC business reporter Marcia Hughes

The British Association of Toy Retailers has just produced its list of the top ten likely sellers this Christmas.

Top 10 toy predictions for this year (random order)
Pogo sticks - generic
Harry Potter range - Lego
WWF Real Sounds Arena - Kidz Biz
Drilling Bob - Yaffe
Candy Floss machine - General Creation
Thunderbirds electronic playset 1 & 2 - Vivid Imaginations
Harry Potter Figures - Mattel
Miracle Baby - Mattel
Nutcracker Barbie - Mattel
Who wants to be a Millionaire? boardgame - Upstarts

With a staggering 850m spent in Britain on around 180 million toys, it is a vital time for manufacturers, who will be trying to predict how much of the Christmas market will be theirs.

The magical world of Harry Potter looks like eclipsing many toys this year.

The whole range has taken children by storm, but fans can be fickle and the items will not necessarily please everyone.

"The book hasn't got any pictures you're supposed to imagine, and now they've made the toys they are all imagined for you and that's what I don't like about the toys," said one young shopper.

Old favourites

Many of the old favourites will be in the top ten.

Bob the Builder is back on the list for a second year running and this time he is equipped with a drill for his building work.

Boy looking at Harry potter product in Hamleys toy store, London
The magical world of Harry Potter
"Thunderbirds are still here and very strong although Captain Scarlet maybe creeping up on them, and the Who want's to be a Millionaire? game is also very strong but may be challenged by The Weakest Link.

"You never know what may happen in December," said Mark Goodall, Association of British Retailers.

"Other strong things are Barbie again it's been around for a long long time but Nutcracker Barbie is doing very well for the girls."

Beyond toys

And it is not just toys which are on the list.

The Candy Floss making machine looks like being one of the best sellers this year; a quarter of a million of them are likely to be sold

At 30 apiece, that is not cheap.

However, parents' arms are easily twisted: at Christmas on average they splash out 220 per child.

"Experience shows that is one of the last things that parents actually want to cut out of there budget, for obvious reasons," says Simon Burke, chief executive of Hamleys.

"We are expecting that demand will remain strong right up until Christmas and our two most promising items will cost you a bit more than 100."

The BBC's Marcia Hughes reports
"A staggering 850m spent in Britain on around 180 million toys"
See also:

26 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Maori take on hi-tech Lego toys
22 Oct 01 | New Media
Millionaire and Link top toy charts
18 Oct 01 | Business
Coke attacked for Harry Potter links
09 Oct 01 | Business
Toys R Us warns on losses
06 Jun 01 | Business
Upmarket Hamleys raises earnings
24 Sep 01 | Film
Toy shop bans Harry Potter
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