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Monster toy trend set to spread to the States

A craze for new toys known as Moshi Monsters is taking hold among children in the United Kingdom and could spread to the United States when the toys are unveiled at the New York Toy Fair (February13- 16).

The toys are based on virtual monster characters that children are able to adopt online at http://www.moshimonsters.com/.  In the virtual game, children can befriend other "monsters" and play games that are designed to improve skills such as mathematics or vocabulary. The Moshi Monster toys, launched in the UK the week ending January 30, are aimed at children aged between six and 12 years and based on six key monster characters from the online game.

Mind Candy - the company behind the online game estimates that Moshi Monsters currently has around 34 million players worldwide, and one in every two UK children between the ages of six and 12 has 'adopted' a virtual Moshi Monster .  This popularity is obviously a trend the company expect to see transfer to the 'real' toys.

Moshi Monster toys and accessories are available to buy throughout Europe via Amazon's regional retailers. The toys cost anywhere from €11 to €22,  though related accessories are often cheaper.   

The longstanding trend for toys based on movie franchises is also expected to continue growing this year.  Toy manufacturer Mattel is launching a range of Green Lantern action figures and accessories based on the movie of the same name at the New York Toy Fair, while Lego toys inspired by Harry Potter and Hasbro's range of lightsabers from the Star Wars franchise were also voted amongst the Best New Toys at the London Toy Fair.

In addition to the Toy Fair in London (January 25-27) and the New York Toy Fair (February 13- 16) the latest toys were also be presented to trade professionals at the Nuremberg Toy Fair (February 3-8). These three toy fairs attract thousands of visitors from around the globe - the 2010 Nuremberg Toy Fair alone saw 76,000 visitors -a nd help set the top trends in the toy industry for the coming year and beyond.

Both the Nuremberg Toy Fair and the the upcoming New York Toy Fair are open to trade professionals only.