Minions, Jurassic World and Star Wars help toy market to major growth in 2015

The Minions, Avenger, Jurassic World and Star Wars have helped the British toy industry to an increase of 5.9 per cent on the sales of the same period last year.

The British toy industry has been valued at £3.2 billion, according to The NPD Group, marking an increase of £150 million year-on-year.

Innovative ideas resulted in more than 58,000 new toys being launched in 2015, equating to 31% of UK toy sales or £1 billion at retail.

Growth was driven partly by 2015 being a year for strong film licences, with Minions, Avengers, Jurassic World and Star Wars all playing their part.

In fact, last year saw the global cinema box office revenue break the £26.8 billion mark, making 2015 the highest earning year in movie history. This box office success drove movie-related toy sales up 27% (+89% since 2013).

The increase also includes the success of Frozen which made it to the number one toy licence again in 2015. On average last year 38 toys per child were purchased, with 11 of these being Christmas gifts and stocking fillers marking December as a ‘massive month for toys’, accounting for 26% of annual sales.

Some retailers reported late buying patterns with shoppers leaving purchases until the last minute. This resulted in a few shortages of popular toys as it becomes ever harder to predict stock level as Christmas shopping patterns change.

The strongest sectors for growth in 2015 were action figures (up 20%), building sets (up 14%) and plush (up 14%). The best-selling toy in the UK in 2015 was LEGO’s Minifigures.

“What a great year 2015 was for the UK toy industry," said Natasha Crookes, director of public affairs and communications at the British Toy and Hobby Association.

"Some highly creative partnerships with major film properties were a significant driver of growth, but so too was the resurgence of traditional toys such as building sets and plush. It’s fantastic to see the innovation of the industry resulting in market growth and with more than a third of last year’s value driven by new product launches it goes to show how much our industry reinvents itself each year to keep toys and games interesting to children and families.

"Toy Fair is the perfect place to see all types of toys together under one roof and to start the process of picking the winners for 2016."

Frederique Tutt, Global Toy Industry Analyst at The NPD Group, added: “What is interesting about the 2015 performance is the lasting endurance of traditional toys such as building sets and action figures.

"It’s also great to see the variety in the toy industry where a fun game like Pie Face went viral on the internet, alongside the increasing popularity of traditional collectables and the launch of exciting new toys from the movies – which included some of the best-sellers of the year.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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