Global information company The NPD Group has unveiled the UK toy market’s year-to-date sales performance and holiday season trends to coincide with the Dream Toys event in London.
According to retail sales data from NPD, toy sales grew by 5% (£) year-to-date compared to the same period last year.
The overall toy market is enjoying positive sales, with nine of out NPD’s 11 super categories tracked in toys posting year-over-year growth across all age groups. The most dynamic categories are action figures (+27%), youth electronics (+15%), and building sets (+13%. Movies have fueled this growth, as movie-related toys experienced a 28% increase in sales during this time and represent 15% of all UK toy sales, compared to 12% last year.
With Disney Frozen and Star Wars holding the number one and number two spots, respectively, as the top toy properties, it comes as no surprise that these will have a large presence this holiday season. Driven by the launch of new products since the beginning of the year, Frozen toy merchandise has more than doubled in sales year-to-date compared to last year. As for Star Wars, sales have tripled since the Force Friday event on 4 September. The iconic Sphero BB-8, an app-enabled droid from the upcoming movie, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, was the best-selling item in the UK during September, and the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar claimed the lead in the week ending 3 October.
“This year is all about innovation and brand extension more than television and technology for the UK toy market. In this competitive retail environment, the winners this Christmas will be new toys coming from attractive brands, that offer authentic play value,” said Frederique Tutt, toys global industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Frozen and Star Wars aside, there are a number of brands performing well, including Shopkins, Little Life Pets, Paw Patrol, Toot Toot, LEGO, Nerf, Play Doh and Thunderbirds; and I expect that many of these will be Dream Toys winners this Christmas.”