The nation's favourite toys revealed

The study measured the awareness, popularity and appeal of toy brands among children, but separated the findings between genders

The results are in and the nation’s favourite toys have been revealed - global brands Lego and Barbie topped the polls for boys and girls respectively.

Proving that a toy need not be new to capture a child’s imagination, Barbie is celebrating her 55th birthday, while Danish brand Lego is marking 65 years of providing bricks for budding builders.

Lego’s universal appeal was confirmed, as girls ranked it third in their list of favourite toys and had Lego Friends been included in the figures, Lego would have been crowned number one for girls too. It was one of only two brands that managed to make the top ten for both boys and girls.

Yet is it still acceptable to talk of toys that are specific to a certain gender? One of the UK’s biggest toy retailers, Toys R Us, bowed to pressure from campaigners last year to stop labelling toys by gender and other shops have followed suit.

Those critical of gender-specific marketing claim that it can discourage girls from going into professions more commonly associated with men, such as engineering or IT and more generally can limit aspiration.

With the recent changes to marketing introduced, it remains to be seen whether this will change the lists for next year.

Read more: Toys R Us to stop marketing its toys by gender
Barbies for girls, cars for boys? Let toys be toys


Favoured toy characters differed markedly by age group, yet Disney’s creations were universally popular among those under two, taking 40 per cent of the top licences for this category.

Of the top ten girls’ toys revealed in the study, 80 per cent were based on a central character, while this dropped to 60 per cent among boys. Racing and hero-inspired toys were popular with boys, as Cars the Movie, Hot Wheels and Spiderman toys took the second, fifth and seventh spots, respectively.

Kelvyn Gardner, the managing director of LIMA UK, the international licensing association that commissioned the poll, said:

"Despite the strength of global iconic brands and franchises, it's also good to see home grown talent such as Thomas & Friends and Peppa Pig feature in the top ten list."

The survey questioned more than 30,000 children and parents across the globe to ascertain their favourite toy choices. Over 1,250 respondents were based in the UK and it is from these respondents that results have been compiled to discover the nation’s favourite toys. The study measured the awareness, popularity and appeal of the most important toy brands to children in various age groups, up to 14.

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