Time to Go Christmas Toy Shopping in Australia

As Christmas descends upon us it is time again to go shopping for toys; well, they don’t all come from Santa…

santaIn particular I want to compare prices between Australia and the UK. I’ve done this a few times before in previous years, notably…

According to those three comparisons, toys in Australia have always been more expensive than in the UK. In my first comparison toys were 11% cheaper in the UK than here, but when I rechecked in 2011 I found that Australian toys were a massive 38% more expensive than in the UK.

The incredibly weak pound against the Australian dollar didn’t help that one, at the time one British pound would only get you $1.56 AUD. Today you’d get $1.92.

Last year’s Christmas shopping list was slightly different though, it had four toys and two adult gifts, one for him and one for her. The Australian presents were slightly more expensive than the UK’s, but only by $9, or 1.3%.

So I was interested to see how it would turn out this year, especially as I recently claimed that Australian prices were getting more and more competitive in my post Fairer Prices for Australians; Shopping to Get Cheaper?

So, in order to do a shopping comparison, I need to decide what to buy.

Top 20 toys for Christmas 2014

After a little searching I found the Toys’R’Us UK top 20 toys for Christmas 2014 list on online. The article contained a statement from Mike Coogan who is marketing and e-commerce director for Toys’R’Us UK. He said…

Toys with a technology base appear to be taking a lead and are all the rage this year, Cayla, Dino Boomer, MIP and the Digital Birds and cage are full of character, but it’s comforting to see the return of some household favourites including Thomas the Tank and Lego, which are always firm favourites.”

Thanks Mike, that will be our list then. Let’s go through it.

My Friend Cayla

cayla

  • UK price £49.99
  • Australian price $139.99

Dino Zoomer Robotic T-Rex (Boomer)

dino boomer

  • UK price £59.99
  • Australian price $129.00

MiP Robot

mip

  • UK price £79.99
  • Australian price $179.99

Little Live Pets Bird & Cage

Bird & Cage

  • UK price £19.99
  • Australian price $29.99

LEGO Friends Heartlake Shopping Mall

lego mall

  • UK price £74.99
  • Australian price $159.99

Thomas and Friends Avalanche Escape Playset

Thomas

  • UK price £34.99
  • Australian price $79.20
All UK prices are from Toys’R’Us UK and the Australian toys prices come from Toys’R’Us AUS but they didn’t seem to have the Dino Zoomer or Thomas and Friends, so those prices came from Big W and Target respectively.

Price comparisons

The total cost of these 6 toys in each country is:

  • UK Total = £319.94
  • Australian Total = $718.16

Now we need to convert GBP into AUD and £319.94 x (today’s exchange rate) 1.92 = $614.28 AUD.

So, yet again, toys are cheaper in the UK than they are here in Australia. This bunch of six toys cost $103.88 less in the UK than they do here, that’s a little more than 14%.

When you take into account the hard yakka though, it does get a little kinder on those Australian parents pockets, or more significantly, working hours.

  • The UK – 23.45 hard yakkas.
  • Australia – 20.09 hard yakkas.

Conclusion

The way I see it, as long as the pound remains weak against the Australian dollar these price comparisons by currency conversion will always favour UK prices. Traditionally, one GBP would buy you $2.50 AUD and until that kind of exchange rate returns, Australia will always seem more expensive.

But when you get here and you start earning Australian dollars and thinking in Australian dollars, you’ll discover that you need to work fewer hours to buy things than you did back in the UK. That’s because salaries are generally higher here.

Paying 14% or so more for something isn’t so bad when your salary is as much as 31% higher than you used to get. If you want to know more about that, check out my post Australian and UK Salaries Compared: Part Two 2012.

Right, I’m off to play with my MiP Robot.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • djmcbell December 18, 2014, 6:13 pm | Link

    I wonder how the Australian Toys R Us is at discounting? That MiP robot is advertised on TV (Disney channel to pacify my son, honest) at £99.99.

    • BobinOz December 19, 2014, 6:37 pm | Link

      £99 is RRP I think, so $179 is pretty much full price. Maybe you can get it cheaper for your son in the Boxing Day sales 🙂 Not the same though, is it?

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