HARRY POTTERS XMAS VANISHING ACT
Copyright 2001 The Scotsman, All Rights Reserved

[ December 9th 2001 ]

Toy shops and department stores yesterday admitted they may not receive further stocks of the coveted Harry Potter lego models of Hogwarts Castle and the Hogwarts Express until well after Christmas.

The 75.99 castle and 45 train are top of the most wanted list for many children, but parents who are now panicking about how to get their hands on them should, perhaps, consider some alternatives, such as Pogo sticks or computer games. Karen McCran, a sales assistant at the toy department of John Lewis in Edinburgh, said: "Pogo sticks are incredibly popular this year for adults as well as children, believe it or not. They bounce much higher than the old ones."

And while the craze for the latest Playstation 2 games shows no sign of abating, there is a remarkable interest in traditional toys. Ms McCran said: "We are selling a lot of prams, particularly three-wheeler ones, so children can be like mum as lots of parents opt for the sporty version now."

Mobile telephones, the big hit of the past few Christmases, are unlikely to repeat their success as more than 60 per cent of the population now own one. According to Dixons, a leading electrical and electronic retail group, recordable DVD players, digital cameras and camcorders now top many wish lists for men and women.

In home entertainment, Woolworths says the Pearl Harbour and Tomb Raider films are likely to be the video best-sellers, while Robbie Williams, Madonna, Westlife and Michael Jackson are all expected to top the album charts.

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