To coincide with the imminent launch of the Wizards Unite app game, latest analysis by The NPD Group reveals that one Harry Potter toy is sold every five minutes in the UK, making it second only to Star Wars in terms of value sales. One quarter (24%) of those sales are to people aged 18+.
From Ron’s Ford Anglia to the Hogwarts Express and the Night Bus, the wizarding world of Harry Potter is unquestionably British. The books and films have cast a powerful charm, spellbinding fans of all ages who it seems simply can’t get enough of the brand. The top-selling toy is Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall by The LEGO Group which retails at approx. £83, a testament to the loyalty of Hogwarts fans. The LEGO Group has six toys in the best-sellers in the 12 months ending May 2019.
Toy manufacturers and retailers have embraced Harry Potter. With sales of £44 million at retail in the same time period (12 months to May 2019), the franchise has brought a touch of magic to the UK toy industry and lifted its performance – or as Hermione Granger might say “Wingardium Leviosa” – a charm to make objects fly. A good example of the strength of the Harry Potter spell is to be found at the world-famous Hamleys in London’s Regent Street, which dedicates most of its lower ground floor to the brand’s magical world, creating a hypnotic destination for fans with toys spanning collectibles, costumes, wands and other magical memorabilia.
Hype is now building for the imminent launch of the Wizards Unite app game. A marketing campaign has been calling all wizards to “ready their wands” to save the wizarding community from exposure to the muggle community. Similar to Pokémon GO, wizards will need to seek out magic items or ‘foundables’ while defeating enemies and overcoming obstacles. Excitement and game play looks set to sweep the UK and beyond – and boost toy and merchandise sales – as would-be wizards cast spells, brew potions and fight dementors and werewolves in towns and cities up and down Britain and globally.
Frederique Tutt, global industry analyst, Toys, NPD, says: “Nostalgia is a huge part of the appeal of Harry Potter toys. With the 22nd anniversary of the publication of The Philosopher’s Stone on 26th June this year, it’s not only the original Harry Potter generation reliving the excitement and love of the franchise through the wide range of themed toys available. Quite simply, Harry Potter has achieved what only a handful of characters in the toy sector have done before – ensure enduring appeal across the generations. There’s no question this is a great British brand and a great British success – and one that is going to continue casting its spell as new generations of wizards enter the magical world of Harry Potter.”
In the 12 months ending April 2019, the markets most bewitched by Harry Potter toys were the US and UK. Harry Potter toys sales across the 13 markets tracked by The NPD Group reached $340 million. The brand has no need for the “Alohomora” spell that magically opens locks; the franchise has certainly unlocked enduring success by entrancing fans around the world.