In the UK and France, it’s Father Christmas (Santa Claus) or Père Noël who brings toys to children for Christmas. In Germany, it’s the Christkind (Christ Child) who delivers the gifts.
But across Europe, it’s really the Czech Republic who delivers most of the toys for children come Christmastime.
According to a new report issued by Unicredit Bank, the Czech Republic exported more than two billion euro (50 billion crowns) worth of toys in this year. That makes it Europe’s leading toy distributor, despite the smaller size of the country compared to some of its neighbors.
“Toys are one of the most popular Christmas gifts in Czech households,” said UniCredit spokesperson Petr Plocek.
“However, Czech manufacturers do not just deliver gifts under local Christmas trees; thanks to the export of model sets, dolls, and miniatures, we are a European toy supermarket.”
Perhaps ironically, however, it isn’t local Czech brands that are doing the most exporting from the country.
The Czech Republic has risen to the position of Europe’s leading toy manufacturer largely thanks to brands like Denmark’s LEGO, which has shifted a large portion of their production to the Czech Republic in recent years.
LEGO and similar plastic toys account for two-thirds of the Czech Republic’s toy output, though the country is also a leading producer of miniature sets and dolls.
While the Czech Republic produces the most toys in Europe, however, they don’t spend nearly as much on toys as their neighbors; the average Czech household spends 11% less on toys than the EU average.
Though major international toy brands like LEGO, Playmobil, and Ravensburger have production facilities in the Czech Republic, toy parts are typically manufactured elsewhere before being assembled, packaged, and distributed from the Czech Republic.
Some of the larger Czech toy manufacturers include ABAfactory, Abrex, Dino Toys, and Merkur, among many others.