(28 Jun 2012) LEADIN:
It might only be June but toy shops are already looking at what children will want santa to bring them this Christmas.
Battling spider robots, a break dancing Mickey Mouse, Barbie’s Dream House and a board game called Bum Face are all tipped to be big hits for the 2012 festive season.
Meet the Attacknids – could this be this year’s Christmas best-seller?
These radio-controlled, robotic, six-legged battle spiders are the latest thing from the US.
The Attacknids come with an arsenal of twelve fast-firing discs to shoot their opponents.
Tyler Godfrey from Twickenham is spending the morning play testing all of the toys.
He explains: “It’s got foam darts that you fire at these plates on another person’s Attacknid and one of the modes of the game is to knock all their pieces of armour off. And there’s another one where you have to hit this three times and then it shuts down.”
The Attacknids cost £69.99 (USD $108) and are suitable for children over the age of eight.
But does Tyler think his friends will like the Attacknids?
“Anybody will probably play with it a lot, well maybe not so much little girls but maybe older girls who are a bit of a tomboy would definitely play with this and boys, unless they’re very girl-like, which is highly unlikely. I think they’re going to love this” he says.
For one day only in Hamley’s toy shop in central London it is Christmas in June, complete with tree and all the trimmings.
Children are invited to play test the upcoming range of toys and give their verdicts.
One of those putting on a performance is Master Moves Mickey, a hip-hop, break-dancing reinvention of the Disney mouse.
Squeeze his nose and Mickey performs a sequence of 15 moves to eight original songs.
Master Mickey costs £89 (USD $124) and is suitable for ages two and up.
This version of Mickey is so new it’s the only one in the world. The factory has lent Hamley’s the prototype Mickey for some real-world play testing.
Nigel Wheatley, retail director of Hamley’s says: “The toys we’re showing are so new they’re not even available on the sales floor in any store in the world at the moment.”
Some of the toys will encourage a child’s creative side – like this electronic drum set.
The portable set can be rolled up as a mat and features a built-in amplifier for MP3 plug-in, so you can bash along to your favourite tunes.
It comes with a microphone for singalongs and features eight different drum and cymbal sounds.
The Drum Kit Mat costs £40 (USD $62).
How about this for a plush pad? It’s Barbie’s Dream House – a doll house fit for a plastic princess.
The three floor mansion features a kitchen, living room, chandelier, lift and outdoor sundeck with jacuzzi… naturally the colour-scheme is very, very pink.
The Dream House costs £250 (USD $388).
But if that’s a bit too girly, why not embrace your inner-geek and build a Lego Star Wars Death Star.
Complete with Storm Troopers, Luke Skywalker and laser cannons this complicated kit should keep the kids busy until at least Boxing Day.
The Star Wars Death Star costs £345 (USD $535) and is suitable for over 12s.
Laura Olver is head of buying at Hamley’s, it’s her job to find the next big hit.
She says: “I’ve arguably got the best job in the world. I work with my team of buyers really scouring the world and making sure we are fully aware of all the trends going on in the toy market. We travel regularly to China where most toys are made nowadays and we just make sure for Hamley’s – the finest toy shop in the world – we really do have the finest range in the world as well.”
And one of Christmas’ most unlikely hits could be Bum Face… that’s right, you heard correctly, Bum Face.
So what exactly is it?
Bum Face costs £33 (USD $51).

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