Tesco is going head-to-head with big-name toy brands by launching 100 toy lines aimed at pre-schoolers.

The range of toys, priced from £1 to £80, has been released under new brand Carousel - and includes products such as stacking cups, train sets and electronic toys. It went on sale online at Tesco Direct this week and will appear on shelves in stores from Monday.

Tesco admitted the Carousel products were intended to compete directly with leading brands and claimed one particular innovation - packaging that uses no wire ties or screws - would be a hit with parents. Much of the packaging used in the range has been designed so the cardboard can hold the product in place on its own.

"Shoppers want attractively-packaged toys they can give as gifts that are easy for children to open," said a spokesman for the retailer.Tesco has also recently launched its own doll brand, Emmi, which it plans to expand with further dolls and accessories next summer.

Read more
Toy story: The Grocer meets HTI chief Mark Walls (6 August 2011)