10-10-2006 17:06

Christmas may be more than two months away, but in New York, the Holiday Toy Fair has come to town. Each year the fair marks the start of the toy industry's "holiday season". And this year's hot buys include a new Tickle Me Elmo, a lifelike pony and a build your own robot Lego set.

Toy manufacturers are hoping that their new products will corner the market in the United States and beyond, becoming the "must have" gifts for this year's holiday season.

And now they've been unveiled at the New York toy fair, called, "Toy Wishes Holiday Preview." The fair is widely considered to be the official kick-off for the US' biggest shopping season.

After reviewing thousands of products, the trade publication "Toy Wishes," compiled what they expect to be the best of the best for the 2006 holiday season.

A new Elmo doll from Fisher-Price is on the top of the list.

This new version is set to be released on the 10th anniversary of the "Tickle Me Elmo," which was THE toy to buy in 1996 and 1997. This time the Sesame Street Muppet's squeaky laugh and body movements grow more pronounced with continued tickling.

President of Mattel Brands Neil Friedman said: "Nobody ever gets tired of Elmo, Elmo always makes you laugh and a toy that makes a person smile or laugh is always a winner."

Another top toy is an interactive three-foot pony that moves realistically . When small children climb on, the pony responds with a clip and a clop, making walking sounds.

And finally, Lego has released what it hopes will be a top gift this year. With over 70 years of successful business, it started selling build your own robot kits more than six years ago, and this year's Mindstorms robotics kit is cooler than ever.

Soren Laursen, president of Lego Americas, said: "It advances it because it allows you to interact with the computer, it allows you to actually programme your robots. Obviously the whole idea is building robots and as you build those robots you can subsequently go into your computer and programme your robots to do various things."

Other popular toys on the list include a next generation skateboard named "Ripstik," new "Bratz Diamondz" dolls, and a remote controlled helicopter.

More traditional toys like trains and stacking cups are also expected to sell well this year.


Editor:Wang Ping