World Cup fever kicks off in the UK toy market

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FIFA World Cup 2018

The NPD Group, a global information company, today reveals how World Cup football fever is impacting UK toy market sales. With just under a fortnight to go before the national squad’s opening game on 18 June, £11 million has already been spent in the UK on football and FIFA World Cup themed toys including Panini Moscow stickers, Match Attax and Trump Cards. The Single pack of Panini FIFA World Cup 2018 stickers was the second best-selling item in the week ending 19th May, at an average price of 80p, with the six-pack (£4.55) ranked at number six.

Top five best-selling football-related toys in the UK – week ending 19 May 2018

FIFA World Cup 2018 1 Pack Panini
FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 6 packs Panini
FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 10 packs Panini
FIFA World Cup 2018 Adrenaline XL pack Panini
FIFA World Cup 2018 Album + 3 packs Panini


Could the UK win the prize for sales of football related toys again in 2018?
As the home of the English and Scottish Premier Leagues, it is only natural that British consumers embrace sports-fuelled buying trends and crazes – especially when their national team is playing. In 2016, 24 million toys, cards and stickers were sold in the UK throughout the UEFA 2016 European Championship, equivalent to £26 million in retail sales. This dwarfs finalist France where sales reached £15 million in cards, stickers and toys, and Germany whose fans spent £12 million. Packs of World Cup themed stickers currently feature in the top 10 best-selling toy products in France (#1) and Spain (#8). Belgium too is embracing the spirit of the tournament, where two of the top three best-selling toys during the third week of May were packs of Panini stickers.

When we look at which European markets are buying the most football-related toys at the moment, we see that the UK, France and Belgium lead at £2.50 in every £100 spent on toys, followed by Germany at £1.70 and Spain at £1.20 (all week ending 19th May 2018). This gives us a hint at the levels of excitement as the tournament kick-off approaches.

Frédérique Tutt, Toys Global industry analyst, The NPD Group, says: “The last significant football event – the UEFA 2016 European Championship – had a huge impact on the toy industry. More than 24 million football-related toys were sold in the UK – that’s 6% of all the toy sales by volume in the country that year. So far in 2018, football-related toy sales total £11 million – that’s including Premier League related toys too. And in the most recent week that we have data for, the seven days ending 19 May, £921,000 was spent on football-related toys – that’s almost £5,500 an hour. With one in eight toys sold in the UK in the third week of May being football-related, the next few weeks will give the toy sector a welcome boost.”

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Frederique Tutt concludes: “Sales of football-related toys almost double in Euro and World Cup years, showing just how important the sport is to the toy sector. This makes football unique in terms of its impact on toy sales as other regional and global sports competitions such as rugby, tennis and even the Olympics have yet to make a similar effect on sales.”