The auction scene is well established in Britain. Christie's, Bonham's, Sotheby's and Phillips are increasingly aware of the value of robots, and these items get star billing in many of their sales. Many of the hobby's top pieces surface at these auction houses.
The small size of the country together with the popularity of toy collecting have combined to produce a toy fair scene which is particularly active. It is, in some peoples' opinion, too active: it is not uncommon to have a choice of ten or twenty fairs on an average weekend. Robots do surface at these fairs, but they are usually the second league pieces. At the major fairs (Sandown, the NEC, Donington and London International) there is a slightly better chance of finding a rarity, usually on the stalls of European dealers with alarming price tags. The 'ordinary' British swap meets are preoccupied with die cast vehicles and model trains.
There aren't many specialized dealers. I can think of only one who can be relied on to unearth reasonable pieces on a regular basis. British toy magazines are, like the swap meets, dedicated to die cast vehicles and carry nothing of interest for robot collectors. Anything interesting has to be imported.
The one redeeming feature is that rarities continue to surface in the most unlikely places. It's possible to buy great robots at prices that won't bankrupt you. The climate is, admittedly, damp but this does not seem to have an adverse effect on toys. They survive in a condition no worse than elsewhere. So there you have it: the toys are hard to find but when they do surface they're slightly cheaper than in USA or continental Europe. On the whole that suits me!