Hamleys' birthday present

Toy retailer Hamleys has celebrated its 250th birthday with underlying profits up more than 80 per cent to £4.6m for the year to March 27 and a like-for-like sales rise of 4 per cent in the current year.

The company has opened a new store in Glasgow and also trades in Ireland, Denmark, Jordan, Dubai and India.

Hamleys said hi-tech toys will make a comeback this Christmas as Britain limps out of recession, led by a dancing rubbish truck, a children's video camera and a wristband that unleashes alien sounds.

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Forecasting its list of festive best-sellers, Hamleys said that, following a resurgence of wooden toys and traditional games in recent years, Britons would be lured back to gadgets and higher price tags.

Top of its tip-list is Stinky the Garbage Truck, an 82 vehicle which gobbles cars before breaking into a song and dance routine.