June 19 2013 Latest news:
Simon Bull, London24 editor
Sunday, July 1, 2012
London's famous toy retailer Hamleys has unveiled its 12 top tips for this year's Christmas bestsellers.
The dozen toys showcased at the flagship Regent Street store are the ones Hamleys predicts will be at the top of boys' and girls' lists to Father Christmas in a few months' time.
It was a strange experience being at the press event for the launch of the festive forecasts. There I was on a hot sunny June day standing in a room which contained a Christmas tree, an off-duty Santa and lots of kids testing the toys out on the floor. Slightly surreal.
But this didn't stop me feeling like a child myself as I gazed upon the 12 for 2012, thinking I would have liked several of them myself when I was nine or 10 years old. Actually, I was thinking I'd like several of the toys now I'm 37 years old.
The list of big sellers for this year was originally a top 10 but became a top 12 with the addition of two 'hot off the press' items - the return of Cabbage Patch Kids and the launch of a cuddly version of internet phenomenon Boo the dog.
There is a very traditional and familiar look to the list, with a few hi-tech newcomers thrown in.
Table football game Subbuteo is making a comeback and it will be interesting to see if it grabs fans' attention the same way it did decades ago before the explosion of video games, apps and the like.
Lego is still going strong and features on the list with the new Lords of the Rings set.
Another well-known character is Disney's Mickey Mouse, who is revamped as an all-action street dancing figure known as M3.
To coincide with the new movie, there is also a Spider-Man figure which blasts webs from its hands.
For the girls, ever-present Barbie has a new theme this year. The performing puppy trainer idea perhaps came from someone watching Ashleigh and Pudsey win Britain's Got Talent.
Among the cooler new toys which don't have even a whiff of the retro about them are a couple of iPad-style tablets for kids and also a Moshi Monsters plush toy into which you insert an iPhone and iPod Touch and then interact with after downloading an app.
Watch the video above to watch dancing Mickey in action and click here for a picture gallery of Hamleys' top 12 toys for Christmas 2012.