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Triangle Goes Crazy Over Teletubbies

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RALEIGH — The latest invasion from England is not as popular as the Beatles, or as racy as the Spice Girls, but it is taking over the Triangle, as kids go crazy for Teletubbies.

If your home is not already occupied by the baby-like techno-dolls, it will be by the holidays.

The British TV show airs onPBSstations across America, and toddlers love to watch the infantile figures romp on their placid farm.

Michelle Winterstein works at Learningsmith, and has observed the phenomenon first-hand. "Everyone who comes in here with a stroller, their kids pick up a teletubby. They get a book or something."

Tinky-Winky, Laa-Laa, Dipsy and Po come in all sizes. The most expensive even talk, sort of.

Beanie Babiesand Barney now have second-level status on store shelves, as this year's trendy toy becomes a marketing tour de force.

Parent Laura Khatibzadeh says the situation can get a little out-of-control at times.

"I think it maybe does get a little competitive," Khatibzadeh says, "as far as people trying to be the ones to get the toy before it all sell off the shelf, especially at this time of year, coming close to Christmas."

Why do toddlers like teletubbies so much? We asked an expert.

Psychologist Joe Tooley says children like simplistic, bright, colorful shapes. Tooley says the teletubbies match toddlers' development.

No one knows how long this invasion will last. But computer games for the software-savvy are on their way.

The teletubbies have already taken the internet by storm. There are more than 25,000 pages devoted to them.

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Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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