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NPD looks at the continued growth of the games and puzzles sector

Retail Sales Trends: Games and puzzles continue to drive market through summer

Following a warm July, August was another month of good weather, but the toy market didn’t see the highs of July and as such the month ended up flat.

Not bad, however, given that August last year included the Olympics, hence plush sales declined, amongst other categories.

The games and puzzles category continued to grow, up 19 per cent in August, making it the top performing category in the month. This performance is being driven by the impressive growth from the category’s top brand Monopoly, which is +33 per cent. With the traditional games and puzzles purchasing period of November and December still to come, this category could be posting some impressive year-end growth.

In July, the talk was about the Monsters University film release, while in August it was more about Disney Planes. As such the vehicles category saw good growth following the release on August 16th.

The property was number two for the month in vehicles and added over £780,000 to the category for the month. Hot Wheels and Air Hogs also registered good growth in August.

“It was good to see the market maintain solid sales in August given the strength of the Olympics product last year,” said Jez Fraser-Hook, practice director of NPD Group’s toy business in the UK.

“September and October sales will be interesting to follow. Will consumers start to buy earlier this year, or leave it late again? Will promotional activity be moved forward to entice consumers in? One thing is for sure, most children don’t go without a Christmas present, and with consumer confidence on the rise in recent months let’s hope this translates into increased spend this year.”

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