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Toys still tops for tots, figures reveal

Despite the large amount of media coverage given to lead-tainted playthings over the past year, new data reveals that American families have not been dissuaded from buying toys.

Figures from market researchers NPD Group show that the number of households purchasing toys grew by two percent during 2007, up from 105 million to 107 million.

According to the research, 100 percent of families with kids aged six and under bought at least one toy last year, a statistic that may not surprise dads with small children.

However, 88 percent of households without any children present also made such a purchase. Anita Frazier, industry analyst at the NPD Group, said this finding "shows just how broad the appeal of toys actually is".

"Few industries are as widely penetrated in the lives of US families as are toys," she added.

In mid-2007, toy safety issues dominated the headlines, with Mattel recalling almost one million products due to high lead content and 18 million more due to the potential danger of the high-powered magnets they contained.