Santa's elves have been busy again

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The Independent Online
A four-poster dog bed costing pounds 10,000, a trip to the Ice Hotel in Lapland and a game where children pull out plastic green bogies from a doll's nose, are some of the more unusual presents on sale this Christmas.

The mahogany bed, complete with patterned drapes and green ostrich feathers, is the ultimate in canine luxury and a must-have for all pampered pooches. Demanding dog owners must make their way to Harrods to place a special order for the beds, which are exact replicas of the dog four-posters which belonged to Marie Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour.

Real Christmas lovers in search of the ultimate snow experience must travel a little further. The Ice Hotel in Sweden's Lapland is nearing completion and by the festive season craftsmen will have finished carving out the hotel from huge ice blocks. Everything in the gigantic igloo is made of ice - tables, chairs, beds, windows, pictures and even chandeliers. The temperature inside is a cosy minus 5C.

Located 125 miles into the Arctic circle deep in a conifer forest, it is only four hours away from Father Christmas's grotto in Rovaniemi, Finland.

Closer to home and certainly closer to everyday experience is Gooey Louie, a game where players aim to pick out as many "gooeys" (the American term) from a doll's nose as possible. Pick out the wrong gooey and Louie's brain shoots out. The player with the most gooeys or the longest line of gooeys wins. Louie is still a treasure unknown to these shores but makers Goliath sold half a million in six weeks in the United States last year.

Other presents guaranteed to make a splash are the Sony PlayStation game Aquanaut's Holiday and an underwater scooter. For the season when peace and goodwill should come top of the agenda, Aquanaut's Holiday helps anti-social technoheads develop the social graces required to get on in life. It's a journey of discovery where you pretend to be an oceanographer and chat to fish by sonar.

The underwater scooter is more James Bond than new age and a bargain at pounds 12,000. It comes complete with a motor, fancy lights and a self-containedoxygen supply.

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