A year in and out of lockdown has seen many Brits take to video games this year and this looks set to continue into life after lockdown if queues for a cuddly Tom Nook are anything to go by.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been entertaining gamers for over a year, the latest instalment of the Animal Crossing series.

The social simulation video game allows players to control a human character in open-ended gameplay carrying out activities such as fishing and bug catching.

The game has proven to be a lockdown hit for Nintendo, with the latest instalment becoming the firm’s fastest-selling game ever launched in Europe.

Since the release of New Horizons a year ago, more than seven million copies have been sold across the continent, the Japanese gaming giant said.

The title was praised by reviewers for enabling people to gather virtually at a time when meeting in person became impossible due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

And if the latest Animal Crossing release with Build-A-Bear is anything to go by, the Nintendo franchise is rivalling next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Build-A-Bear allows customers to choose everything about their bear which starts as a lifeless shell into a cuddly bear, able to customise their bear with unique outfits and a voice box.

Build-A-Bear versions of the characters from the game were made available for pre-order at 4pm on Tuesday causing long online queues.

Customers reported waiting in line for over an hour to get their hands on the stuffed characters.

When Build-A-Bear announced its collaboration with Animal Crossing: New Horizons last month, excitement began to build over which characters would be included.

Rumours included KK Slider, Stitches and Raymond.

On release it was just the two obvious choices available initially, Tom Nook In his holiday outfit and Isabelle in a pink shirt.

The characters come pre-stuffed and pre-dressed although customers are able to choose between the Animal Crossing theme tune or a set of phrases for the character.

The bears went on sale for £39.50 and have since old out.

However, more are expected to be in stock soon with Build-A-Bear inviting people to sign up for updates on any future releases, more information can be found on the website.

The website reads: “Get ready to create and customize with our new Animal Crossing™: New Horizons collection!

“Signing up for exclusive updates is the best way to get the island news. We’ll send you email announcements when our Animal Crossing™: New Horizons collection is available.”