The £2.9bn British traditional toy market is by far the largest in Europe and ranks 4th in the world thanks to the sheer volume of toys Brits buy for their kids and relatives.

However, the average retail price of a toy here is just £6.63 - much lower than in France, Germany, Italy or Spain. It also dropped by 11% in 2010, partly reflecting the economy but also the focus by manufacturers and retailers on lower price points.

The toy industry has always proved resilient in economic downturns. Parents and other present givers cut spending on themselves, but try to give their children toys for birthdays and Christmas. Christmas is predictably the key trading period, accounting for 35% of the annual spend.

But summer is also a buoyant time, thanks to the hype surrounding US blockbusters such as Toy Story, the number one license in the British toy market in 2010. This year the bets on most popular license are divided between Transformers 3 and Cars 2.

Focus On Toys