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Toy Industry Experts Predict Low-Cost Trend

13/06/2010

Christmas 2010 could seechildren unwrapping low-cost and traditional toys, industry analystsare predicting.

By James Tweedie

Experts gathered at toyfairs are saying that expensive toys will fall out of fashion thisyear as the recession continues to bite

Worldwide toy salesreached almost £50 billion in 2007, and were predicted to rise toalmost £60 billion this year before the credit crunch hit in 2008.

Not surprisingly,industry experts at the New York International Toy Fair in Februarythis year were already predicting that modestly-priced toys would winout in the battle for parents' cash.

In recent years the toyindustry has increasingly resorted to aggressive marketing tochildren to harness their 'pester power' to persuade parents to partwith hard-earned cash for ever-more extravagantly-priced gifts.

But the toy fads of 2010are set to be far more economical than in recent years. Predictionsare that most toys will retail for less than £25 and hardly any formore than £75 - good news for parents struggling to make endsmeet.

Here are some of thisyear's most popular but affordable toys:

Zhu Zhu Pets are furryhamster-shaped robots which crawl around the floor until theirnose-mounted sensor switch hits an obstacle in their path. Then theyhead off in another random direction. Kids apparently love theirfunky range of colours and themes, and parents will love their £10or less price tag.

Mattel has added a rangeof radio-control cars to its famous Hot Wheels range, starting fromjust £15. A neat feature of these cars is the pocket-sized controlbox which doubles as a carrying case and mains re-charger,eliminating the need to buy endless packets of batteries.

Also from Mattel come theSing-A-Ma-Jigs, a bunch of funny-looking soft toys which sing whenyou cuddle them. If you have more than one then they supposedly singin harmony - the old ploy of pressuring the parent to buy a wholeset of toys. But with an expected retail price of around £15 eachthey won't break the bank.

Somewhat more sinister isJakks Pacific's Spy Net range of James Bond-style espionage gadgets.

Newspapers and magazinesalready carry adverts encouraging adults to install surveillanceequipment in their offices and homes to keep an eye on their businesspartners, employees and spouyses.

Now around £40 for thevideo camera spy watch and £20 for the audio bug pen your childcould be seeing and hearing things that they really shouldn't for aweek or two's pocket money.


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