The Cost of Living in Australia: Buying Toys.

Oh My Word It’s Nearly Christmas!

If you think Christmas creeps up on you in the UK, imagine what it is like living here in Australia when, during the middle of the summer, Christmas trees start sprouting up in the shopping malls.

It frightened me the other day I can tell you.

I’ve already given you a good guide on how much it would cost you to get your Christmas booze in; today I’ll be looking at something more for the kids.

What do we want the Christmas? Toys!


I do have a strong suspicion that toys are very expensive here. Time to find out the facts in another highly scientific BobinOz cost comparison.

For the cost of toys in Australia, I used prices from a catalogue that dropped onto my doormat from Myers, a major Australian department store.

For the cost of toys in England, I used prices from Argos who, as everyone in England would know, sells almost everything and is in almost every high street.

For the Christmas present list, I used my daughters. Here we go!

Elizabeth‘s Christmas Shopping List

The UK


Barbie Pink World Camper



LeapFrog My Puppy Pal



Polly Pocket Rollercoaster Resort.



Hot Wheels Starter Set Track Set*



Nintendo DS Lite



Baby Alive Learn to Potty



Swim and Splash Mermaid Dora



LEGO Star Wars Echo Base*



Girls Gourmet Cup Cake Maker



Little Sunshine Doll






*I talked Elizabeth into both of those.

The results.

The English pressies cost £371.70 which at today’s exchange rate of 1.8 Aussie dollars to the pound would have cost $669.06 AUD here, so they were $86.69 cheaper in the UK.

On that basis, toys in the UK are 11% cheaper than they are here in Australia.

But I have to say it is a much slimmer victory than I thought it would be. Considering that this victory is based more or less on the weakness of the pound, one has to call it “lucky”. And if we took into account that salaries in Australia may be as much as 31% more than in the UK, then the victory is hollow.

But why did I think toys would be much more expensive here in Australia than they are?

When we first arrived, most of the toys we bought came from the Early Learning Centre (ELC). One of their catalogues fell onto my doorstep too, I told you we get a lot of leaflets and brochures, so I did some comparisons with ELC in the UK.

Early learning Centre



Whizz Down Mountain



Sizzlin’ Kitchen with Accessories



Grand Piano






You’re never too old to learn something from the ELC are you? Today I learnt their toys here in Australia are way too expensive. They are around 80% dearer in Australia than they are in England! It’s a shame I didn’t work that out two years ago.

But despite the weak pound some toys can still be cheaper here in Australia than in England. All the kids round here love a trampoline, after all, they are always playing outside.

12Ft Trampoline and Enclosure



So, trampolines are 7.8% cheaper here in Australia than they are in England.

All in all, I’d like to be able to call it a draw, but under my own rules I don’t think I can.

England wins!

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • BobinOz January 31, 2011, 12:27 pm |


    Today, Nintendo’s are about the same price. But wages are about 15 times higher.

  • Gordon January 28, 2011, 8:04 pm |

    A few years ago , I worked on a vessel with an Indonesian crew ( I was ships’ engineer ) and we docked in Darwin ( this is about 1999 ) and during some sightseeing / shopping time the crew arrived back with their purchases of ( I think it was ) Nintendo machines ( they SAID was for their kids but I’m not so sure 😉 ) , which at that time cost them roughly a months wages of $350 .

    I expressed surprise and they told me they were cheaper in Australia than in Indo. but the games to go in them were much cheaper back home ( software piracy is a cottage industry / big business in

    Curious but true.

  • BobinOz January 28, 2011, 2:54 pm |

    Well, my daughter does 🙂

  • Sunseeker January 27, 2011, 7:56 am |

    Bet you get more use out of your trampoline in Oz than in the UK though!

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