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Research reveals small outdoor toys are the best buy for kids this Christmas 

Research reveals small outdoor toys are the best buy for kids this Christmas
  • Small outdoor toys have an average cost per play of 42p
  • Board games have one of the lowest cost efficiency scores
  • 16% of parents feel pressure from kids to buy the latest ‘must have’ toys

 With Christmas fast approaching, many parents will be panicking as to which gifts to buy their little ones, but which toys are least likely to be abandoned come Boxing Day?

 Financial services provider 118 118 Money is helping ease parents’ panic with new research into the most cost effective toys to buy this Christmas.

 The YouGov study of 1,059 parents with children under 18 years old asked which toys parents bought their children last Christmas, how much they paid for these and how often their children have played with the toy since.

 Thankfully for cost-conscious parents, small outdoor toys, such as bats and balls and water pistols, came out as the most cost effective buys, with the mean spend on this toy group being £22.48 and average plays since last Christmas being 53, giving them an overall cost per play of 42 pence.

 Another toy group that proved cost effective was dolls and action figures, such as Barbies or Monster High, with a cost per play of 43 pence. These were closely followed by craft and learning toys, like Loom Bands and Play Doh, with a cost per play of 44 pence.

 The top 5 most cost efficient toys*:

Toy Group Average Cost Average number of days toy was played with Average Cost Per Play
Small Outdoor Toys £22.48 53 42 pence
Dolls & Action Figures £47.67 110 43 pence
Craft & Learning Toys £23.21 52 44 pence
Pokemon Merchandise £49.12 105 47 pence
Disney Merchandise £43.19 92 47 pence

Topping the list of most popular toy purchases last Christmas were board games, including family favourite Pie Face, with more than a third (34%) of parents buying a board game for their children under 18 years old.

 However, board games also had one of the lowest cost efficiency scores, costing an average of £1.11 per play and only coming out of the cupboard on an average of 25 occasions since last Christmas.

 It also seems that spending bigger on toys may not always be a bad idea. Games Consoles garnered the biggest average spend of £220.68 last Christmas, however they also had an average of 170 plays over the past ten months, giving them a cost per play of £1.30 – not much more than smaller items such as board games or building toys.

 Of the parents surveyed, 16% said they feel under pressure from their children to buy them the last ‘must-have’ toys and gadgets. More than one in ten (11%) also admitted they don’t think the latest ‘must-have’ toys and gadgets are good value for money, but they buy them for their children regardless.

 Commenting on the study, Mark Burgess, Chief Operating Officer at 118 118 Money, said: “With Christmas just around the corner, many parents feel under pressure to buy their children the latest toys and gadgets, and with toy trends changing so frequently it can be difficult to keep up!

 “Our research has shown that parents needn’t panic in the run up to Christmas and that, when you shop around for the best deal, the larger items such as Playstations or iPads can make for a better investment than the smaller ones.”

 For more advice on buying toys and gadgets for children, visit:

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