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 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 12/98: Christmas and New Year  
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Christmas and New Year Thursday, 24 December, 1998, 11:12 GMT
Furbies in wilderness at Christmas
Past present: Less than 2% of children want a Furby
Furbies - the talking, burping and giggling bundles of fur widely touted as the toy of 1998 - hardly figure on British children's Christmas lists.

Less than 2% of British children interviewed put a Furby at the top of their Christmas list, making it the 66th most desirable present.

Teletubbies a turn-off at 88
Teletubbies fared even worse, at No 88, with just 1% of those surveyed asking Santa for a Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa or Po.

British children put clothes at the top of their list in the study for advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi and computers did not even make the top 10.

Other top-rated presents in the study of 1,000 children aged three to 12 in Britain, France, Germany and Italy were a bike, sweets and cuddly toys.

The study also found that children in all four countries put world peace at the top of their agenda along with a desire to be happy and for there to be no hungry or poor people.

British children were the only ones to wish for better weather.

Spend less

Saatchi and Saatchi's international marketing manager Stephen Colgrave said: "It appears that Europe's kids are wise beyond their years, refusing to succumb to hype and wanting the world to be a better place for all.

"Let's hope they remain this sensible when they are adults."

The results of another study of children who spent two weeks playing with the latest toys and games, backed up the conclusion that if anything, parents should spend less on toys.

Items judged to have the least play value were on average 5 more expensive than the toys the children played with most.

Toys were given to an independent panel of more than 50 children aged between three and 16.

Children's Testing Panel founder Debbie Davis, said: "Do Millennium kids really need robots, cyber watches and toys with artificial intelligence? All three are selling incredibly well this Christmas.

"But 21st century toys are just as likely to be the things that parents played with when they were young like cuddly toys, blankets and pretend play sets - all of which tend to be less expensive."

  • Thousands of children attended an unusual celebration in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa - the arrival of more than 15,000 teddy bears, collected throughout the world by the Casa Alianza charity.

    There are currently 85,000 children in Honduras under the age of five housed in temporary shelters following the onslaught of Hurricane Mitch last month.

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