Toy-filled advent calendars appeal to all ages – young, old and ‘kidult, reports NPD


Sales of toy-filled advent calendars are up 5% on 2018 based on sales to 23 November, making the UK market worth £16 million per annum. In the final month in the run up to Christmas, many children – and adults – will be finding a new toy every day in their advent calendar from favourite characters including Star Wars, Harry Potter, L.O.L. Surprise!, Marvel and Playmobil. This is a welcome boost to the toy sector in the all-important ‘golden quarter’ of the year.

The LEGO Group has seized the advent-calendar opportunity. In the latest top 10 to be released, The LEGO Group’s ranks four different versions amongst top 10 toy-based advent calendars to week ending 23rd November. The Harry Potter Advent Calendar ranks first, followed by the CITY Advent Calendar in second place, and the Star Wars Advent Calendar. LEGO Friends comes in eighth.
Frederique Tutt, global industry analyst, Toys, NPD,explains the growing popularity of toy-filled advent calendars in the UK: “Already established in France and Germany, the toy-based advent calendar trend has been a little slower to take off in the UK, but it’s now gathered momentum and shows no signs of abating. One of the reasons sales are strong is that it’s not just children that are excited to open toy-filled advent calendars from 1st to 24th December. Our research suggests that the ‘kidult’ population is helping to drive sales, with older children, teenagers, young adults and toy collectors treating themselves to a Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel or Fortnite toy-based advent calendar. With average prices in the top 10 current best-sellers ranging from £15.07 for a Playmobil calendar to £29.34 for the Funko Pop! Harry Potter for 24 toys, this growing sector is providing a welcome revenue lift to the UK toy sector at a critical time of year.”


With less than three weeks to the big day, NPD’s latest sales figures for the week ending November 23 show that the popularity of the L.O.L Surprise! range is showing no signs of waning. The brand has five placements in the top 10 sellers, including first, second, third and fourth positions for toys priced from £11.12 to £103.76.

In terms of the categories that are proving to be the most popular, sales of action figures and accessories are up 8% year-on-year mainly fuelled by Funko Pop!, Toy Story and Fornite.

Tutt concludes: “As we get closer to Christmas day, we expect a positive impact on sales from the movie Frozen 2, so the top 10 we will release closest to Christmas will change as we see L.O.L. Surprise!, Frozen 2 and Games & Puzzles battle for the top spots. Year after year, sales of Games & Puzzles soar in the very last weeks of the year, and this year again, whatever the current toy craze on Christmas wish lists, many families will continue to enjoy a traditional board game over the festive period.”