A SWINDON father and son created a new toy which they hope will fly off the shelves this Christmas.

Keith and Ben Milburn brought Tizzy the Elf to life using their love of top tech, apps, and augmented reality - and think it could oust another popular toy from the top of kids' Christmas lists.

After a lot of pestering from Ben over a couple of Christmases, Keith finally gave in the following year and bought him an Elf on the Shelf.

The next 24 days were a mixture of fun, stress and dread when Keith realised he had occasionally forgotten to position the elf. So come January, he decided there must be a better way of doing things and started work on a solution.

By combining his tech know-how and Ben's love of the festive season, he made Tizzy the Elf, who visits homes, dances and takes selfies through a new augmented reality smartphone app.

Keith said: "I wanted to create something that was even more fun than a ‘real’ elf and provide an experience kids could lead, have fun with and learn from - not to mention something myself and my wife didn’t need to stress over.

"With full time jobs and a family to look after, plus all the organising, present buying and such like on the run up to Christmas, thinking about what to do with a toy elf was something we could do without.

"We’ve created Tizzy using Augmented Reality, which means that you can see what appears to be a real elf, arriving through a secret door in any wall of your house, jumping out, dancing and getting up to all sorts of mischief via any Android or Apple smart device.

"For my son, this left the toy elf collecting dust on the shelf."

Keith plans to develop the app each year, adding new functions and learning elements which aim to appeal to children and parents of all ages.

Tizzy has been subject to a small beta testing group of parents who gave it excellent feedback. Their responses helped shape the app and get it ready for launch. – it was their idea to add music and interactions.

Ben added: "Dad had some good ideas but he didn’t know what us kids really want to see, so I made sure Tizzy’s dancing wasn’t cringe and that she looked like a real elf."

For more information, visit facebook.com/TizzyTheElf