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Ugly pets and robots at Toy Fair

A range of ugly collectible pets and a robot with "expressive" eyes and the ability to initiate a conversation are among the latest toys on show at the UK's annual Toy Fair.

More than 260 toy companies are showing off their latest creations at London's Olympia in the hope of attracting buyers from retailers such as Hamleys, Harrods, Argos and Asda.

The event has also attracted a host of celebrities, such as the singer Pixie Lott, CBeebies star Justin Fletcher, Strictly Come Dancing's Kristina Rihanoff, boy band Stereo Kicks and the world's official ugliest dog.

Fletcher, the star of Gigglebiz, Something Special and Justin's House, was on hand to promote the Something Special toy range, while Lott is launching her new fashion doll range under the Steffi Love brand and Rihanoff and her fellow dancer Aliona Vilani were promoting the Dazzling Dancers, Sensational Sequins craft set.

The world's ugliest dog Mugly also made an appearance to launch the Ugglys Pet Shop, a range of collectible miniature Uggly Mutts.

The soon-to-be-launched Meccano Meccanoid G15 KS will allow children to build their own personal robot, described as an "advanced yet easy-to-use open source robotic building platform".

Once constructed, the robot uses its on-board "mecca brain" and voice recognition to say thousands of phrases, tell jokes, offer fun facts and play games, and can even initiate conversations and remember its owners birthday.

It has "expressive" eyes with more than 500 options for their colour and communicates with smart devices via Bluetooth.

Toy makers are launching thousands of new products at the event, with retailers set to see what companies such as Lego, Playmobil, Hasbro and Leapfrog will be offering this year.

Toy Fair will reveal its best new toy awards selected by a panel of retailers, with previous winners including the Peppa Pig Weebles Wind and Wobble playhouse, Henry Hugglemonster Henry's Roarsome Scooter and the Moshi Kart collectibles.

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