The UK has been named the fastest growing toy market in Europe, according to the latest data published by analysts NPD Group.
Figures show the nation topped a 2010 list that including fellow toy market giants France, Germany, Italy and Spain despite the severe weather of November and December severely impacting the British retail industry.
NPD data indicated that strong autumn trading activity helped contribute to a six per cent annual increase in the UK toy sector last year.
Toy sales over Christmas were affected by the snowy weather, but recovered in the last two weeks of December - a trend also noted in Germany and Italy, where people bought gifts later than ever.
Over the course of the festive season John Lewis and House of Fraser gave an insight into popular toys among shoppers, with an animatronic pony ‘Butterscotch’ and Festive shoppers favour traditional gifts apparently selling well at the respective retailers.
The research by NPD indicated that Toy Story was the most popular brand of toy in the UK in terms of revenue last year, trumping the likes of Peppa Pig and Lego City to earn top spot.
Frédérique Tutt, industry analyst for NPD Group, said: “Christmas 2010 was one of the most difficult seasons ever experienced by the European toy industry.
“With severe weather hitting the northern countries during the biggest trading weeks of the year, retailers and manufacturers alike were bracing themselves for negative results.
“In the end, 3.5 per cent growth for the five largest countries is a fantastic outcome.”