Every parent knows the frustration of presenting your child with a toy that they’ve been nagging you for ages, only to abandon it within a few days…

According to Gumtree Marketing Manager Estelle Nagel, Gumtree.co.za can easily spot which toys didn’t live up to the hype by analysing the listings on the site.

“Parents start listing abandoned toys between 28 December and the end of the first week of January, once it’s clear that their kids are not as enthusiastic about their expensive toys as anticipated,” she says.

According to an analysis on the site from 2018 to date, the following toys are the most frequently listed for sale:


These adorable animals remain a surprise until they noisily hatch from their eggs, but that is usually where the excitement begins and ends.

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Costing between R800 to R1 000 a toy, the hatched Hatchimals are often resold for R250 to R500.


Similar to Hatchimals, the fun of this toy lies in putting it together and customising it. Build-a-bears range in price from R250 to R1 000 depending on accessories and type.

“To cut the cost, take your little one to assemble the bear and buy your accessories secondhand on Gumtree. You can pick up wardrobes full of shoes, sunglasses and clothes for your bears for a tenth of the price.”


This was all the craze in 2018 but frustrated parents started listing their hoverboards on 25 December already. “Last year we had dozens listed by Boxing Day for half price,” says Nagel. The cause is unknown but reports of injuries and accidents might be behind the steep abandonment rates.


Lego is incredibly popular, but once assembled, pieces invariably go missing and the novelty wears off. “The good news is that you can often buy secondhand Lego in bulk as incomplete sets –  leaving your little ones free to use their imagination to assemble their own world.”

Battery-powered cars

Car enthusiast parents will shell out thousands for mini Ferraris and BMWs for their little ones, but they often end up for sale soon after. “The batteries need to be replaced, kids lose interest or simply outgrow them.”

Nagel says that there are a few tips that parents should deploy before shelling out on big presents. “Kids outgrow toys quickly. Before committing to a big ticket item, shop secondhand. You can teach healthy money habits by having your child sell their old toys to buy new ones. Make a point of donating or repairing old toys rather than throwing them out.”