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Toy Fair: Scalextric among retro toys tipped to drive growth

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Media captionRory tries the new Scalextric set

Retro toys with a new twist are being tipped at this year's UK Toy Fair to sustain industry growth in 2016.

The British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) said the re-launch of many old favourites would boost sales following the industry's highest growth in five years in 2015.

Toy sales in the UK - Europe's largest toy market - grew 5.9% to £3.2bn last year, according to the BTHA.

A new-look Scalextric and other retro refits will add fresh sales, it said.

"We think that for 2016 retro licences will help to sustain the growth," Natasha Crookes, of the BTHA, told the BBC.

Nostalgia among new parents for the toys they grew up with is behind the resurgence, she said.

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Image caption The toy industry expects re-launches of retro toys, including the 1970s Stretch Armstrong, to help drive sales growth

Dangermouse, Teletubbies and Noddy, which all have new TV series out this year, will be among the toys hitting the shelves this year, she said.

Last year, 58,000 new toys were released in the UK, as film franchises in particular boosted the industry.

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Image caption A pair of Princess Leia earmuffs on display at the Toy Fair

Movie-related toy sales were up 27% thanks to the success of merchandise from Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Minions, according to toy industry analysts, the NPD Group.

Sales of action figures increased 20%, while building sets and soft toys both grew 14%.

Frederique Tutt of the NPD said: "What is interesting about the 2015 performance is the lasting endurance of traditional toys such as building sets and action figures."

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