Child tablets tipped for Xmas sales

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Argos Christmas Preview

Children's tablet gadgets are set to become an £80 million market by the end of the year, having topped a new retailers' list of predicted Christmas top sellers.

Almost a million of the tablets will be sold in the UK by the end of the year, according to toy industry analyst Frederique Tutt of NPD Group.

The InnoTab 3S and the LeapPad Ultra have made the annual Dream Toys list released by the UK Toy Retailers' Association (TRA), as well as other "connected toys" that link and share content with tablets such as Furby.

Also high up the list are the City Coast Guard Lego, Doc McStuffins doctor's bag, the Flutterbye flying fairy and the Robo Fishbowl.

The popularity of the tablet has aided a 6% increase this year in sales of toys with a price tag of £50 or more, according to NPD, a trend it expects to continue through to Christmas.

However the list, selected by a panel representing 80% of toy retailers, suggests traditional favourites are still holding their own, with sales of fashion dolls, classic board games and vehicle playsets all up on last year.

Ms Tutt said: "We anticipate close to one million children's tablets will be sold in the UK by the end of the year, making this a £80 million plus market.

"In the UK, as in the rest of Europe, people are influenced by a difficult economic climate. Impulse toy buying for instance is experiencing significant declines. However in this environment of cautious consumerism our research shows that items with high price tags sell very well, especially good quality brands and innovative concepts.

"Thanks to strong innovation in the hi-tech sector, as well as solid performances in more traditional segments, we expect the year to end on a positive note for the toy market."

Dream Toys committee chairman Gary Grant said: "2013 has been challenging so far, but indications are that Christmas is going to be a good end to the year.

"The Dream Toys list illustrates that there are some outstanding products this season led by innovation, but traditional toys continue to perform well.

"There's a real diversity in the list this year, which has a good spread of toys over different price points which I think shows how well the industry is reacting to the current economic market."