October 12, 2017 / 3:14 PM / 7 days ago

Toy-telligence the smart choice for children at Christmas

Six year old Lillie reacts as she poses with a children's Range Rover Evoque ride-on car and a Barbie fashion doll, which form part of the selection of predicted top sellers this Christmas at the Hamleys toy store in London, Britain, October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Tyler the Playful Tiger, who roars, purrs and moves during play is among a group of animatronic toys tipped to be the most in demand for Christmas, according to the world’s oldest toy shop.

Hamleys, where Britain’s Queen Elizabeth once bought toys for her children, are predicting the “toy-telligence” sector to prove the big hit of 2017, with the bulk of their top 10 for Christmas list featuring artificial intelligence or robotics.

“There is definitely a (tech) influence coming through in toys ... it has become very sophisticated,” Hamleys head buyer Victoria Kay told Reuters on Thursday.

“These toys learn and develop as appose to a tech toy which will always say the same thing back to you.”

A Luvabella Doll that learns phrases, reacts when you tickle its feet and plays peak-a-boo was also in the top 10, along with a globe that speaks facts and figures on different countries when tapped with a stylus pen.

With just 74 days before Christmas, many children were busy trying out the “toy-telligence” range at Hamleys’ 136-year-old flagship toy emporium in London on Thursday before finalising their wish list for Santa Claus.

“(I prefer toys) that talk back to me,” said six-year-old Lilly Hulkes-Dudman, clutching Tyler the Playful Tiger.

Writing by Patrick Johnston; Editing by Alison Williams

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