Tongue twisters are all the rage this year
By BREE PRICE
THE biggest dilemma for parents shopping for Christmas is not what toy to buy their child, but how to pronounce it when they get to the store.
The top toys for 2004 are YuGi-Oh, Terrain Twisters, Robosapians and Love Me Chou Chou dolls, say toy shop owners, all of which are quite a mouthful.
Children are steering away from the more traditional favourites this Christmas, such as Barbie, with girls heading for Bratz dolls.
"Barbie is having a slow year this year," Ballina Toyworld owner Debbie Towner said.
"Girls want anything Bratz. Anything that shakes, rattles and rolls Bratz."
Ms Towner said Terrain Twisters and Robosapians, both of which are remote-controlled toys, were so popular they had already sold out.
"They both came out this year in July or August and the companies have sold out themselves."
Terrain Twisters sold for $140, with a Robosapian even more costly, at $180.
However, Queensland University of Technology School of Early Childhood senior lecturer Susan Danby said parents don't have to spend a lot of money to please their kids.
Dr Danby said children would find just as much enjoyment in basic toys, like a sandpit or crayons, as in more expensive items.
"People often think they have to go to toy shops, but toys can be broader than that," she said.
"Kids love to dress up. It's role-playing and imagining themselves in different roles and being creative.
"They love sand and playing in the garden and using their hands.
"Magnifying glasses, torches, wading pools ? kids love that sort of stuff, as long as it's safe for them to use.
"For a four-year-old, a box full of interesting paper and feathers and stickers is much better than a colouring-in book.
"A parent doesn't have to spend $200. They have to look at their budget and see what's possi- ble.
"People think they have to spend a lot of money."