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Children bring Christmas to China

2013-12-24 16:07:17

(China Daily) By Matt Hodges


The chain will hold a number of promotional events in Shanghai over the festive period as more Chinese or mixed-race children see how their foreign peers celebrate and don't want to miss out. "I think I want some Legos this year. I have a dog already, one Chihuahua and one Golden Retriever, so I don't want another one," says 11-year-old Max Allwright, whose foreign parents moved to Shanghai shortly after he was born.

Toys R Us says it brings Barbie and Thomas the Tank Engine to Yangpu Wanda Plaza from Dec 21 to 25. It organized a show earlier this month featuring interactive learning toys at Xinzhuang Cloud Nine, another popular department store in the city. It also runs online activities such as "My Christmas Wish List" on its Sina Weibo micro blog.

Murphy expects the top-selling toys at his stores in China this Christmas will mostly be foreign brands, such as Mattel's Hot Wheels toy cars and VTech's Axl the Ankylosaurus transforming dinosaur. But Chinese parents' practical natures still represent a huge barrier to sales.

"Chinese parents tend to see toys as an educational tool or a reward rather than a simple gift, so there will of course be some rubbing off from the West, but I can't see traditional purchasing habits changing anytime soon," says Richard Gottlieb, president and founder of Global Toy Experts.

Elizabeth Kycelt, 10, comes from a multicultural family. Her father is Austrian and her mother is Chinese. She says this Christmas she is going to Beijing to be with her mother's family.

"Usually Chinese don't celebrate Christmas, but if I'm with them, they will," says Kycelt, who studies at Yew Chung International School of Shanghai.

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