Best-selling Christmas toys predicted

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A baby doll that was first delivered to shops 17 years ago is among the toys most likely to cause parents sleepless nights this Christmas, retailers said today.

The Baby Born with Magic Potty is one of 12 items expected to fly off the shelves, according to a list of best sellers predicted by the Toy Retailers Association (TRA).

Launched in 1991, the crying, potty-going doll was the first to boast "human functions" and the latest version retails with a flashing, musical potty for a recommended £33.99.

The doll's inclusion alongside toys inspired by enduring favourites such as Sesame Street and Star Wars points to a taste for nostalgia, but 21st century technology remains very much in evidence.

After all, the Sesame Street toy is Elmo Live, an all-singing all-dancing version of the cute red puppet, while the Clone Trooper Voice Changer allows wearers of the helmet to sound like a Star Wars character.

Other toys expected to sell reflect the popularity of more recent children's entertainment, such as the High School Musical 3 Musical Dance Mat or In The Night Garden's Upsy Daisy, which comes with her Chase and Play Bed.

The TRA also compiled top 12s in the girls', boys', pre-school, creative, tech and games categories.

The girls' list indicated a generation of would-be pop idols are emerging, with the Bratz Girls Really Rock Dolls, High School Musical Sing Together Dolls and the Barbie Princess Liana Singing Doll all making the list.

Meanwhile it seems the boys have been inspired by heroes of the silver screen, with the Indiana Jones Hat & Whip Set and the Clone Wars AT-TE Vehicle tipped to sell.

Younger children look set to enjoy the Bob The Builder Interactive Construction Site, while games fans will relish special editions of classics such as Monopoly Here & Now: World Edition and the Scrabble 60th Anniversary Edition.

But parents may well feel like someone is watching them if their children get hold of Meccano's WiFi Spykee The Spy Robot, which works as a mobile CCTV camera and has made the TechZone list.

TRA chairman Gary Grant said: "This year, the top 72 really reflects the innovation and expertise at work in the UK toy industry.

"From clever new twists on old favourites to ingenious use of new technologies, this selection strikes the balance between familiar brands and the new kids on the block."

He added: "It has been a challenging year for all businesses, but as a retailer I am delighted to see innovation continuing to come through.

"Even in an economic downturn, children still need exciting, good value toys to entertain and inspire their creativity."

The TRA has around 250 members, accounting for 60% of toy retailers in the UK.

Its independent predictions for this year's most popular toys take into account what consumers are requesting and the latest trends in new products.

The TRA's "dream dozen" for this Christmas are as follows, in alphabetical order. All prices quoted are the recommended retail price (RRP):

* The Baby born with Magic Potty, Zapf Creation (£33.99)

* Bakugan Starter Pack, Spinmaster (£12.99)

* Ben 10 Deluxe Omnitrix, Bandai (£15.99)

* Catcha Beast, Bandai (£19.99)

* Cupcake Maker, Character Options (£29.99)

* Elmo Live, Mattel (£59.99)

* FurReal Biscuit, My Lovin' Pup, Hasbro (£149.99)

* High School Musical 3 Musical Dance Mat, Vivid Imaginations (£22.99)

* In The Night Garden Upsy Daisy and Her Chase and Play Bed, Hasbro (£34.99)

* My Life, Flair Leisure Products (£49.99)

* Rescue Pals Swim To Me Puppy, MGA Entertainment Ltd (£29.99)

* Star Wars Clone Trooper Voice Changer, Hasbro (£29.99)

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