The latest dolls, Lego and Star Wars figures will be at the top of children’s lists to Santa this Christmas, says one of the key figures behind Teesside’s newest toy store.

Independent retailer Toytown has opened in Middlesbrough’s Cleveland Centre just in time for the Christmas rush – and the festive buzz is already catching.

Mark Simpson, operations manager for Toytown owners SMF, said the new store opening has brought early festive cheer for several Teessiders with the creation of eight new local jobs.

And he says the store is now “packed to the rafters” and taking deliveries of the latest in-demand toys on a daily basis.

“The Star Wars figures are expected to be in big demand with a new film set for launch,” said Mark. “While Lego is always a big seller at Christmastime.

“But the real buzz is around new doll ranges include LOL Big Surprise, Jo-Jo Dolls and Luvabella. They’re all expected to be in big demand but numbers are strictly limited so not every child who has them on their list to Santa is going to be in luck on Christmas morning.

“Such is the limited numbers that we’re expecting the dolls to sell out almost as quickly as we get them in.”

Started in Belfast nearly 40 years ago by Mark’s father Alan – the firm’s managing director –  there are now 26 Toytown stores across the UK and Ireland, with the family-run business promising parents looking for the perfect gift both value and a great range of products.

“The store is already performing better than we had hoped, with excellent footfall through Cleveland Centre,” added Mark. “We’re anticipating a really busy festive season – so don’t wait till Christmas Eve to start your shopping!”