As the big day draws ever closer, check out these top tips from the Team Leader of Derby City Trading Standards, Doug Walkman and avoid being tricked by cheap imitations.

  1. Keep it High Street – High Street toy retailers are far less likely to stock dangerous or counterfeit toys in shops or online compared to street sellers and some online auction sites.
  2. Bargain beware – If you see a deal that seems too good to be true, either in a shop or online – it probably is!
  3. Look for the CE mark – By law, toy packaging must display this, as well as the name and address of manufacturer/importer, the type, batch, warnings and instructions and model or serial number. If any of this is missing you could be looking at a fake toy.
  4. Extra approval – Also look for the BSI Kite and Lion quality marks for extra peace of mind.
  5. Spelling bee – Check for spelling mistakes on the box and tatty-looking packaging, counterfeits can also copy the above safety marks so take a close look to see if they look real.
  6. Be seller savvy – If you’re buying from an online auction site, check buyer and product reviews. Also look where the toy is being sent from. Many fake and dangerous toys are imported from Far East countries where they aren’t tested for safety.
  7. Popularity contest – The more popular a brand or product is, the more likely it is to be faked. In 2015 Trading Standards teams in the UK saw a huge rise in the number of counterfeit ‘Frozen’ toys, many of which contained dangerous levels of phthalates.
  8. Avoid a shock – Toys that contain electronic parts or batteries can be especially dangerous. Last year, ‘hoverboards’ caused a number of house fires due to non -compliant plugs and unsafe chargers.
  9. Double Check – Often, in the rush to buy gifts and the bustle of shops, we don’t stop to properly look and check what we’re buying. Once you get home, give the toy and its packaging another check for anything that might indicate it’s fake.
  10. Don’t chuck it, report it – If you believe you have purchased a fake or dangerous toy, report it to Trading Standards through the Citizens advice consumer helpline. These reports help us track down other fake toys and stop more entering the market.