Used Toys & The Circular Economy – How Pre-Loved Toys Help Us Save Money & The Environment

The wholesale used toy market is crucial in helping develop a more sustainable and circular economy. The toy industry uses a whopping 40 tons of plastic for every $1 million in revenue and is the most plastic-intensive industry in the world.

Not only are many high-profile toys like Barbies and GI-Joes mainly plastic, but their packaging is also made of single-use plastics creating an even bigger environmental impact. 

With approximately 80% of toys ending up in the trash, this is a huge stressor on the planet, especially considering these take hundreds of years to decompose.

Collecting Used Toys & Used Toy Demographics

That’s where used toys come in, which help give a second life to pre-loved toys of all types, allowing children across the world to not only enjoy them but to look forward to a brighter environmental future.

So how does the wholesale used toy industry work? 

First, let’s discuss the end customers who have a demand for used toys. There are 3 predominant groups who buy pre-loved toys. 

Private Collectors

You have the people who are building their unique and rare collections, who keep their toys in displays or on showcase. These are private collectors who scour the globe and their local area to find hard-to-find pieces. 


You also have consumers who really care about sustainability and have made changes in their and their family’s lives to work towards this. 

Limited Budget Consumers

Then you have consumers who don’t have the budget for new toys and prefer the prices of used toys (and other used items for that matter.)

Soft plush used children toys in the basket.

The Donation & Distribution Process

People donate their used toys all the time and your local charities will likely collect these via drop bins, which they will try to distribute to thrift stores. If these toys are on the shelves at these thrift stores for more than 6-12 weeks they will go back to the warehouses where they will be packed and sold to international customers. 

20,000 to 30,000 lbs of toys in containers will usually be distributed to international customers, and 25,000 to 35,000 lbs of toys in trailers are usually passed off domestically.

Depending on the volume, small thrift stores and charities may opt to keep these toys in their warehouses for the next holiday or Christmas season.

There are some stipulations depending on the country as each region has its own rules and regulations surrounding second-hand used hard and soft toys. 

Bank & Vogue has a focus on buying and selling used toys in bulk and can bridge you with all sorts of hard and soft toys. We ethically source our supply and help our clients all over the world get access to the best, used toys around.

The Most Popular Toys

With the explosion of the Barbie movie, your knee-jerk reaction to what the most popular second-hand used toy would be Barbie dolls and although, yes, they are extremely popular with private collectors and the general public alike, Disney characters are the toys with worldwide appeal. 

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and even Hello Kitty are some of the most popular characters when it comes to both hard and soft toys. Hot Wheels, Transformers, and Power Rangers are also some popular options in the hard toy category, while stuffed animals and teddy bears are the most popular when it comes to soft toys.

Customers globally love pop-culture characters that are easily recognizable which allows their end customer to get a classic toy for an affordable price vs. a new imported one that stresses the environment and has a price premium associated with it. 

Moving used toys globally not only helps revenue-generating opportunities for businesses worldwide but also helps our planet! 

Here at Bank & Vogue, we offer a wide variety of hard and soft toys. All of our second-hand toys are typically packed in cap sacks and are loaded into shipments with other used products. Depending on your specific needs, we can also offer full loads of used toys with a minimum weight of 20,000 pounds. 

Can you imagine a world where the toy industry is completely circular, minimizing waste while bringing joy to children all over the world? That’s our vision at Bank & Vogue!

Contact us here today to learn more.

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Soft plush used children toys in the basket.