Bunnies to repeat hamster's success
Retailers are hoping for a repeat of hit Christmas toy the Go Go Hamster with the release of a "virtual rabbit" companion in time for Easter.
The Zhu Zhu Fluffy Bunny shares all the attributes of the battery-powered hamster, including a sensor in its nose that prevents it from bumping in to obstacles.
The hamster version became the must-have gift of 2009, with retailers rationing stocks in the build-up to Christmas and the toys selling on eBay for many times their shop value.
The latest "hassle-free pet" makes up to 40 sounds from squeals and squeaks in "adventure" mode or coos and purrs in "nurturing" mode.
Tesco, which is selling the bunny, said toy sales were increasing each Easter as more people opted to give children non-food gifts.
Sales of toys were up 20% last year compared with the previous year, the retailer added.
Tesco toy buyer Gemma Harding said: "Zhu Zhu Fluffy Bunnies are every bit as cute as Zhu Zhu hamsters and make the perfect gift for Easter.
"The bunnies are just as fun as real pets but without any of the mess. Sales of Zhu Zhu hamsters have been phenomenal and we expect Zhu Zhu Fluffy Bunnies to be just as popular."
The Zhu Zhu Fluffy Bunny will sell for £9.97.