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Saturday, 26 January, 2002, 08:10 GMT
'Real Girl' challenge to Barbie
Barbie faces a challenge from Get Real Girl
An action figure for girls and "battle-ready" spinning tops are among the new toys being launched in London on Saturday.

Less than a month into 2002, manufacturers are ready to show off the products they believe will be the top sellers next Christmas.

Around 15,000 people are expected through the doors of the ExCel centre in the Docklands for the five day event, including buyers from all over the world.

Organisers, the British Association of Toy Retailers will also be naming the winner of the Toy of the Year award.

Surf or soccer

Get Real Girl, is toy manufacturer Hasbro's attempt at finding an alternative to traditional dolls like Barbie and Sindy.

The company hopes the 16.99 dolls, with names ranging from Surfgirl to Soccergirl will provide a female rival to boys' figures like Action Man.

Many parents might have bought the toy of the year at Christmas, but saying that it might be a surprise to some

Alison Newbold
Hasbro is also the company behind the BeyBlade spinning tops.

It has sold seven million of the "fighting tops" in Japan since they were launched there six months ago.

Each top consists of interchangeable parts, such as the attack ring, eight disk, spin gear, and blade base.

For the first time the fair, which is not open to members of the public, will see the toy shop of the year named alongside the toy of the year.

Alison Newbold, from BATR, said: "Many parents might have bought the toy of the year at Christmas, but saying that it might be a surprise to some."

Last year's toy of the year was the robotic dog Teksta. Other previous winners include Furby, Rubik's Cube and Thunderbirds' Tracy Island.

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