UK families have 411 million pounds worth of unused toys

What Mobile
December 7, 2018

  • Average family* has more than a hundred pounds worth of unused toys at home
  • Toys with the most longevity include gadgets like tablets, robots and consoles, as well as more traditional construction-type toys or building blocks
  • On average, children lose interest in toys after 2 months and 5 days
  • Parents claim kids play with less than 13% of their toys
  • Barnardo’s launch Christmas toy amnesty with Cozmo

The average family has more than a hundred pounds worth of unused toys at home, resulting in £411 million worth of discarded toys across the UK, according to research from AI and robotics company Anki, makers of best-selling robot toy Cozmo.

Of the 67 toys, the average family owns, parents, claim their children play with only nine toys per week (13%), with 21% of parents saying toys are neglected after just the first week.

The research also reveals parents spend around £383 per year on toys, with parents in the capital spending the most (£546).

To tackle this imbalance, there will be a Christmas toy amnesty on 8th and 9th December, where families who donate toys to their local Barnardo’s store will receive a £50 discount off 2017’s best-selling toy, Cozmo.

Parents simply need to tweet a photo of themselves or their child donating a bag of toys to their local Barnardo’s shop to @anki and @barnardosretail with the hashtag #CozmoxBarnardos to receive a unique £50 discount code to buy a Cozmo through*.

Facing the fads

The research has revealed that on average, children tend to lose interest in a new toy after two months and five days. Sports sets are the toys that children lose interest in the quickest, with their interest fizzling out after 10 days. This is followed by art and creative toys at 11 days.


Half of the parents said the quickest their children have tired of a new toy was after just one hour, with 73% claiming the novelty wore off after just one day.**

Toys with staying power

Construction toys and gadgets like tablets, consoles and robot toys came out on top as the toys with the most longevity (49% and 47% respectively), followed by dolls and soft toys (35%).

Parents think the average lifespan of a toy is just 10 months. When looking for toys with longevity, parents’ priority is that toys are suitable for different ages (55%), closely followed by toys with lots of games and features (40%), and educational benefits (26%).

Cozmo is a toy with staying power – an adorable real-life robot side-kick jampacked with a range of games and coding activities, he keeps kids entertained for hours at a time. New content and game modes are introduced via regular free software updates, which ensures the relationship with Cozmo stays fresh and exciting.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

“In every community there are children who don’t have toys to play with, but at the same time thousands of pounds worth of toys sit unused in homes across the UK.

“We hope that families will donate their unused toys to Barnardo’s this Christmas, knowing children will benefit from their kindness. Profits from donated items will go to our front line, helping us continue to support some of the most vulnerable children and families”.

Anki said: 

“We’re really pleased to be able to support Barnardo’s at this important time of year. We’d also like to thank the children who donated their unwanted toys and hope that families feel Cozmo – with all his games, fun coding platform and regular updates – is a worthy replacement for their donations.”

Cozmo was named the best-selling toy of 2017 on Amazon in the UK (One Click Retail), the best-selling premium price toy in the UK for 2017 (NPD Group) and the best-selling toy in December in the UK (NPD Group).

More information about Cozmo can be found here.

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