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Children’s virtual worlds - like Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin - aren’t just popular online; they’re also proving a big hit as toys with new research showing over half of UK children own a toy based on a virtual world with some as popular than Dr Who.

Youth media specialists, Dubit Research , studied the popularity of toys based on online worlds, looking at Disney’s Club Penguin, Mind Candy’s Moshi Monsters, as well as Build-a-BearVille, Poptropica and Webkinz.

The study of 500 kids showed that an amazing 55 per cent of children owned a toy from at least one of these games. The most popular was Disney’s Club Penguin, with 32 per cent of children owning a branded toy from the online world. Club Penguin, which has 150 million registered users (globally) launched in 2005 and has spawned a series of books and video games. Each toy is connected to the virtual world as they’re...

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