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What's hot for children? Anything electronic

November 25, 2000

Danette Goulet

NEWPORT-MESA -- That time has come again, when children begin pinning

up Christmas lists on refrigerators stuffed with Thanksgiving leftovers.

And they have no trouble knowing what they want.

Milea Austin, 6, of Newport Beach said she craves a bike for

Christmas.

"I like burgundy," she said. "That's a good color for a bike."

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Devon Davis, a third-grader at Mariners Elementary School, said she

wants a beach cruiser.

"And Mary Kate and Ashley dolls -- they're Barbie dolls that are Mary

Kate and Ashley," she said. "And how about a big, fat teddy bear?"

Topping many lists this year are Razor scooters, video games and Harry

Potter merchandise.

"Anything electronic is popular this year," said Jennifer Paridon,

district manager for the Zany Brainy toy store in Newport Center, listing

a few of the hot items this year.

"Magic, magic, magic -- this Harry Potter stuff they love. Scooters,

we can't get enough of these."

There are now three kinds of Razor scooters ranging in price from $99

to $149, the newest model coming equipped with a light. And then, of

course, there are the knockoff brands.

Another favorite item flying off the shelves this season is Poochie,

an electronic puppy, said Veronica Bandilla, an assistant manager at Zany

Brainy.

"It's your virtual pet," she said. "It's pretty neat, the things it

does. Its eyes will become hearts to say it needs love."

Like many other popular toys this year, Poochie comes with a remote

control, which children say is what makes it so cool.

That bit of information is something store owners clearly know and

plan to use to benefit their sales.

Each toy store at Fashion Island had an employee playing with a

remote-control toy in its front entrance Friday.

At the Store of Knowledge, a young woman demonstrated a remote-control

dinosaur that captivated young audiences.

Hunter Corwin, 2, of Irvine was squatting down in front of the

tyrannosaurus rex with his head cocked to one side.

"They're asking for Lego Mindstorms and pretty much anything that's

remote-control, like this," said Hunter's mother, Heather Corwin,

motioning toward the roaring toy.

But some things, like Milea's request for a bicycle, are consistent

with what children's parents may remember asking for when they were

young.

They may be more advanced and elaborate now, but as children hop up

onto Santa's lap, they are still asking for Barbie dolls, Legos and

action figures.

"I want 'Star Wars Senator Palpatine with Thunder,' " said 5-year-old

Eden Bailey.

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