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180 days to Christmas.. and THIS is what your kids will be begging for; EXCLUSIVE PORTABLE VIDEO BOOM.

Byline: RUKI SAYID, Consumer Editor

THIS is the toy children will be begging for this Christmas.

And although there are 180 days left until December 25, toy shop bosses predict pocket-sized VideoNow looks set to go straight into the UK's top 10 requests for Santa.

The craze for the 14cm by 12cm portable "personal video player" has already swept America.

Sales in the first six months of its launch in the US topped pounds 62million.

The pounds 69.99 video player - dubbed "instant on-the-go entertainment" for kids - has mini discs which slot in and play up to 30 minutes of colour footage from cartoon favourites like Sponge Bob, Squarepants and Rugrats.

And from September the 10.5cm mini-discs will include Manchester United and Arsenal football series, Duel Masters, Mr Bean and the Powerpuff Girls. Stores are now desperate to buy up the VideoNow stocks before they run out.

Woolworths' toy department bosses predict it will be in the festive bestselling Top 10. Elena Antoniou said: "Our teams are gearing up for the rush to make sure we will be fully stocked with the hottest toys for Christmas."

The video, made by Hasbro/Tiger Electronics, has a full-colour 6cm back-lit LCD screen, built- in speaker and headphone socket.

Toy shop bosses also predict that new dolls on the block Bratz will overtake Barbie as the girls' Christmas favourite for the first time.

Spiderman Triple Action Web Blaster will be slugging it out with Robosapien for the boys. But old favourites like Lego, Tamagotchi and Trivial Pursuit will also make the top 10.

Elena added: "This year's predicted top 10 toys for Christmas has something that everyone in the family can enjoy."

TOP 10 ON XMAS LISTS

TOP ten toys for Christmas 2004 tipped by Woolworths:

Bratz Funk Out! Doll (pounds 13.99)

Spiderman Triple Web Blaster

(pounds 18.99

Barbie Princess & Pauper

(pounds 19.99)

Leapster (pounds 64.99)

Tamagotchi (pounds 12.99)

20th Anniversary Trivial

Pursuit (pounds 29.99)

Video Now! (pounds 69.99)

Bop It Extreme (pounds 19.99)

Lego Knights Kingdom

(pounds 5.99)

Robosapien (pounds 79.99)

CAPTION(S):

FAVE: Video; MUST HAVE: Spiderman Blaster and Bratz
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 28, 2004
Words:360
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