July 4 - Europe's top manufacturers preview the latest must-have toys for Christmas including a ipad-style tablet for children as young as 4 as well as some old classics. Hayley Platt reports.
You may not have had your summer holiday yet but the toy industry is gearing up for the Christmas one. Europe's top manufacturers have been in London showing off their latest innovations. Some may not go down too well with parents (shot of squirting helicopter) but the kids are sure to love them. Attacknids by Wow Stuff is another which promises to be a big hit. Designed by a group of scientists, the product has been in development for 8 years. Richard North is the company's CEO. SOUNDBITE: Richard North, Chief Executive, Wow Stuff, saying (English): "They shoot discs, darts, canon balls at each other and as they impact on your opponent the armour, the combat armour explodes off and if you hit the battle head, the brain 3 times you actually stop your opponant's Attacknid from working and have to press the reset button." It's been a difficult few months for many retailers in northern Europe. Poor summer weather has hit sales - especially clothing. But toys are riding the storm far better, says John Baulch, publisher of Toy World Magazine. SOUNDBITE: John Baulch, Editor Toy Magazine, saying (English): "I think there's always been a popular belief that parents will always try their best to look after their kids no matter how touch the economy is and I think we're seeing that at the momentin the toy industry." New technology is the focus this year. Little Tykes has a range of interactive products for children as young as 3 . Connected to an iPhone or iPad through a special App this toy becomes a sophisticated high tech gadget. SOUNDBITE: John Baulch, Editor Toy Magazine, saying (English): "What you're seeing is toy companies reflecting products that are working for parents in the technology market and making them so that kids can actually have their own versions of them. I think that's a great development." SOUNDBITE: Jayden, age 9, saying (English): "I liked the colouring, the colouring pads." SOUNDBITE: Indira, aged 9, saying (English): "My favourite was the one where you looked through the microscope type thing." The Kurio from Inspiration Works is one of the real tablets for kids. It's powered by Android and is aimed at 4-14 year olds. It costs around 150 pounds or 199 dollars. That's the problem this year - many of the tech items have a pretty hefty price tag. And recession and austerity aren't words many children appreciate at Christmas. Hayley Platt, Reuters.