The Cost of Toys in Australia

A couple of years ago I did a cost comparison post between England and Australia on the price of toys. At that time, from the selected toys I looked at, Australia ended up being 11% more expensive than in the UK. You can read that post by clicking the following link:

Then, the other day, I noticed an article in The Sun, Britain’s favourite tabloid newspaper. It was called “UK parents in present rip-off” and as the title suggests, it was about the high price of toys in the UK.

The article looked at the 12 top selling toys in the UK claiming they would cost around £604 there, compared with £424 if you sourced the same toys from elsewhere around the world.

This represents savings of almost 30%. That’s a fair chunk!

To save your £180, you’d need to get your gifts from places like Ireland, Germany, France, America and Denmark.

But the comments underneath told a different story. Most suggested that all of the toys were available in the UK at much cheaper prices if you were to just shop around. Some even suggested that The Sun reporter had deliberately looked for the most expensive places to buy these toys just to make the story!

As if a reporter would do that! Really!

Anyway, I did shop around and I got the same 12 toys, not for £604, not for £424, but for £486.

So, these are the toys, these are the real prices you can get these toys for in the UK and also the real prices you can expect to pay to buy the same toy, if it’s available, here in Australia.

Toy Cost ComparisonsNotes:
* Monster High Lagoona’s Hydration Station was selling for £34.99, but appears to be sold out at that price most places I looked. Some companies are cashing in on this; the RRP for this product is £39.99, but has it on sale now for a whopping £54.97 and Toys R Us have it marked up at £49.99. Naughty naughty!
You can read the full article from The Sun here.

The results.

Considering these are the 12 most popular toys for sale this Christmas in the UK, I’m surprised to find that five of them are not available to our poor Australian children here.

No Fireman Sam: Pontypandy Multi Rescue Set for our kids! No Fijit Friends Interactive Figure–Serafina (Pink) either! No Star Wars Ultimate Force Tech Lightsaber, although we do have other Star Wars Lightsabers, just not the “Force Tech” spec.

The Kidizoom Twist is a UK only model, which I think is sometimes done by manufacturers so that you can’t compare with prices abroad.

As for Milky the Bunny…….

Milky the BunnyWe don’t want him! If you’ve read my post called It’s Easter Bunny Time in Australia, you’ll know why.

So that leaves just seven toys to compare. The total cost of buying these toys in each country is:

  • The UK    – £298.24
  • Australia – $643.09 (£412.27)
Based on today’s exchange rate of 1.56 AUD to the pound.


These seven top toys are currently 38% more expensive here in Australia than they are in the UK.


This result is vastly different from that of two years ago. Back then, the difference was 11%, but I remember noting at the time that I was surprised it wasn’t more. With this selection of toys, clearly it is more.

A lot more.

Do our children here care? No! So long as Santa brings them what they want, none of this matters.

Do the adults care? A bit, I suspect, but let’s look on the bright side.

According to the hard yakka (or man hours, if you prefer), the above seven compared toys would cost the following in our respective countries:

  • The UK    – 19.8 hard yakkas.
  • Australia  – 19.6 hard yakkas.

Not so bad when you look at it like that, is it?

Whatever toy you want for Christmas, I hope you get it.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Les December 26, 2011, 12:29 pm |

    I like your methodology.

    I plan to use it as we make our move from Canada to the UK.

    • BobinOz December 29, 2011, 9:49 pm |

      Thanks Les, it should work across any country. Hope you enjoy the UK.

  • Sean December 20, 2011, 2:33 am |

    Again, the cost of living seems considerably higher in Oz than in the UK, but if you’re earning Ozzy dollars and spending them in Ozzy shops it is all relative!
    A friend of mine recently came back from a holiday in Melbourne and was shocked that she paid around £8 for a pint (or similar!) of lager, if you are bringing money over then you will find it expensive, but otherwise I can’t see what the fuss is about!

    • BobinOz December 21, 2011, 9:31 pm |

      Quite right. It is all relative, although I do have to say that drinking pints of beer out in Australia is more expensive than in England, even with the adjustment for wages.

      But it’s all swings and roundabouts, our petrol is much cheaper, for example.

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