Whilst most of us are still recovering from the toyfest that was Christmas, the toy business is already making plans for the year ahead. This week in London, Toy Fair 2011, the toy industry's biggest trade fair kicked off to showcase what manufacturers hope we'll be buying for our kids this year.
EastEnders stars were there to join in the fun. Nina Wadia, (pictured here in the hat) who plays Zainab Masood, was reunited with Marc Elliott, who plays her estranged son Syed, and former star of the square Nadia Sawalha. They're joined here by Mario, who was launching a huge range of Mario Kart-inspired toys, cars and cuddlies.
And other stars of the show included the Angry Birds - surely the first toy range that began life as an iphone app? If you've enjoyed chucking the birds at the little green pigs, their new range of plush toys means you can now do it for real. Priced from £3.99, they're due in the shops within the next few weeks.
Ranges you won't be able to avoid this year, since they're linked to major movie releases, are Disney's Cars (Cars 2 is due for release this summer) and Winnie the Pooh (coming out in the spring). See this Cars room set by Worlds Apart? That's your son's bedroom that is.
Big kids with long memories welcomed the return of classic Eighties cartoon Thundercats - Remember the theme tune? Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thunder CATS! Yes that one. Well, they're back and coming to a toy shop near you this Autumn.
And to mark the Springtime royal wedding, Sylvanian Families are releasing a special royal wedding gift set - check out our video report on that here.
One of the strangest toys in show was the HEXBUGS range. Managing to be both creepy and hypnotic, these electronic cockroaches hope to crawl all over the place this year. Latest in the range are electronic spiders, suitable from age 8 and over. They look like the sort of toy that's bound to get lost under the sofa, but happily there is a glow in the dark range coming this year to give you a chance of finding them again. A good pick for gadget-mad boys and girls.
The Playmobil range has been updated with new Top Agent sets, including a remote control car with a built in spy camera. And later in the year watch out for the expanded Christmas range featuring a Playmobil Baby Jesus, angels and a positively beatific-looking Saint Nicholas.
The Zhu Zhu pets range continues to grow - this year they'll be joined by Zhu Zhu Puppies and some gorgeously sweet Zhu Zhu Babies.
But if it's pretend pets you're after, check out the Teacup Piggies from Tomy, a toy based on the celebrity trend for tiny pigs as pets. They were joined at Toy Fair by some real piglets as you can see here.
Finally, ParentDish was given insider access to the Lego secret sanctum, and let me tell you there are some real treats in store from this range in 2011. The new Harry Potter Lego Hogwarts Castle is fantastically detailed and deserved winner of the award for Best New Construction Toy.
And the Lego Alien Conquest range includes green, bodysnatching aliens and the first Lego minifigure I've seen that has an exposed brain. Delightful. And although Christmas 2011 seems so far away, I already know what one of the highlights will be - a Lego Star Wars advent calendar complete with Yoda dressed as Santa. Christmas can't come soon enough.
What do you think of these new toys?
Will you be buying any of them?
Leave a comment below
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more