British parents expected to spend £5.5b on toys this Christmas

Published on: 27th November 2018

An eBay survey polled 2,000 parents planning to spend on toys for their own children as well as other people’s.

The study reveals that parents will be purchasing an average of 19 toys ahead of Christmas morning – with Lego, Disney themed merchandise and Star Wars toys all set to take their place under the tree this year. Nearly eight in 10 parents also admitted to overspending at Christmas – with a third of parents even confessing to buying too many toys and having to keep some for other occasions. The survey revealed that, on average, parents plan to spend  around £392.82 on toys for their own children as well as other people’s.

However, despite the majority of parents splashing out this Christmas, has also seen an increase in budgeting this year as the purse strings tighten, with 63% admitting they have a financial plan in place to ensure they can afford to buy their children everything they want – nearly a quarter of parents will try and limit spending to under £200 overall. Parents also admitted to getting more organised by spending an average of 19.4 hours planning, shopping and wrapping children’s Christmas presents.

When it comes to choosing what toys to buy, half of parents said toys which spark imagination motivates their decision the most, with more than four in 10 concerned about the educational impact of toys, while 45% buy toys which they enjoyed playing with as a child.

It seems parents also consider their children’s ‘creativity and artistic nature’ when choosing toys for Christmas, with 47% saying this often motivates them to buy certain items. And while 56% of parents say their children’s pester power has a ‘massive impact’ on their purchasing decisions, many are influenced by recommendations from others, and the popularity of TV shows and books.

Over the last year there have been more than 100m searches for toys on There have been 578,000 searches for Lego, nearly 185,000 searches for Scalextric and nearly 180,000 people were looking at Playmobil in the lead up to Christmas. And when it comes to classic favourites, top performing items sold over the last decade include Uno, Scrabble, and Hama Beads.

Alice Winter, category manager of toys and games at, commented: “We know how much time goes into finding that perfect present and this year, regardless of budget, we want to help people navigate our great selection of toys – from the latest Lego set to the traditional and retro.”


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