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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 09:08 GMT 10:08 UK
Ninja Turtles stage Xmas comeback
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Cowabunga! The Turtles are back
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are poised to make a Christmas comeback, say toy industry experts.

The four kick-fighting turtles - playground hits of the 1980s - are in the top 10 on a list of predicted Christmas bestsellers compiled by the British Association of Toy Retailers (BATR).

Other old favourites also make an appearance on the list - but all have been redesigned and repackaged to appeal to today's children.

Barbie - in her new "Swan Lake" garb - is also in the top 10, and He-Man, My Little Pony, Care Bears and Transformers are in the top 50.

According to the BATR, the UK toy market was worth 1.76bn in 2000 - and it says about 55% of sales take place in the last quarter of each year, mostly in the four weeks before Christmas.


"Like fashion, the popularity of toys goes in cycles," said Val Stedham, chairman of the BATR.

"Brands are important but the success of a toy relies on its 'playability'. So it's not surprising that those which thrilled children 20 years ago can still appeal to kids today.

Badge It - Bandai (15)
Barbie-Swan Lake - Mattel (20)
Beyblades Radio Control Top & Launcher - Hasbro (30)
Bionicles - Lego (7)
Boohbah - Golden Bear (15)
Bratz Winter Collection - Bandai (25)
Cranium - Re:Creation (25)
LeapPad Learning System - Leapfrog (30)
Turtles - Vivid (7)
Yu-Gi-Oh! - Upstarts! (7)
"Obviously, while the brand itself might remain the same, the toys don't and are redesigned to appeal to this generation of media-savvy kids exposed to a wide range of influences."

One toy on the list - the Beyblades Radio Control Top and Launcher - is based on the spinning top, a toy enjoyed by children for hundreds of years.

Dr Jeffrey Goldstein, a child psychologist from the National Toy Council, said: "There's a real diversity in the top 10, not just in terms of the types of toys and games but in the actual way that kids will play with them."

This year's predictions were announced by the BATR at an exhibition called Dream Toys 2003 in central London.

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