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Toy "judges" called to put toys to the test

July 25, 2005

Toy "judges" called to put toys to the test

Young toy buffs are being sought for the ultimate job of playing with and picking the nation's favourite toys for 2005 in an annual survey.

The 2005 Duracell New Zealand Toy Survey launches today with all Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch primary schools invited to enter a 'judging panel' of children to critique toys submitted by New Zealand toy companies.

This is the second year the survey has been held in New Zealand, with the humanoid robot 'Robosapien', designed by a NASA scientist, taking out the title of 'Top Toy for 2004'.

From today New Zealand toy manufacturers and distributors are also invited to submit their toy(s) into the survey for judging by the toughest panel of toy critics and experts in the nation - the kids.

The Duracell New Zealand Toy Survey is believed to be the only survey of its kind in the country and has been successfully held in the US and Europe for a number of years.

The survey aims to make Christmas gift giving easy for parents by identifying Kiwi kids' most wanted toys and to also emphasise the importance of play for children's behavioural and social development.

Kidz First Children's Hospital play specialist Kathryn Greenwood reinforces how crucial toys are to a child's wellbeing and development. "Children use toys as a medium for play. They act as a basis for socialisation, enabling kids to relax and learn. The importance of play is acutely demonstrated in a hospital environment, where toys provide parents and children with a support mechanism and facilitate the recovery process," says Kathryn.

Toys entered must be suitable for children aged between five and 10 years and can be for boys and/or girls. Both battery and non-battery operated toys may be entered.

Ten entry categories are available from dolls, games/puzzles and outdoor sports to building sets, vehicles and learning and exploration.

Friday 2 September, 2005 is the deadline for primary schools in the three main centres to enter their proposed judging panels. Toy manufacturers and distributors have until Friday 9 September, 2005 to submit their toy entries.

Judging will take place in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on October 18, 20 and 21 respectively.

The Top 10 toys as voted by New Zealand children will be announced in November, giving parents a guide to the most popular toys for Christmas.

Duracell Product Manager Leilani Cowie-Fuimaono says "Duracell is thrilled to bring its popular international survey back to New Zealand.

"We were really pleased with the response we received from parents, schools and toy manufacturers last year, and this year is set to be even better. It will be interesting to see the types of toys that are entered for judging and of course, we can't wait to see what toys the kids pick for this year's top ten."

More detailed information about the survey is contained on www.duracell.co.nz.

ENDS

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