The creative play market, or arts and crafts as it’s known in NPD categories, was worth £274.9m for the full year 2011. It grew ten per cent in value and seven per cent in volume (source: NPD Consumer Panel).
Arts and crafts attracts consumers from all age groups, with 40 per cent of all sales coming from products for children aged two to five years old. The eight to 11 age group was the fastest growing area in the last year, in terms of value. Overall, girls account for around two thirds of all purchases with sales growing faster than boys, up 13 per cent compared to boys’ growth of five per cent. This shows that even with new technology available, some traditional toy areas continue to perform strongly.
The largest area of arts and crafts in 2012 is craft kits, accounting for nearly a third of all sales and growing (source: NPD EPOS Panel). Strong brands include Flair’s Aquabeads and Cool Cardz and Bandai’s Badge It, all of which are growing and gaining share. Crayons and sets remain a core area for creative play and account for around £3 in every £10 spent. This is the heartland for Crayola, which is still the top property in total arts and crafts. Reusable compounds remain strong, with Play-Doh continuing to grow on top of last year’s growth. Paint kits have also grown year-to-date, driven by strong performances from Gelarti and Inscribe.
While licensing does not account for a large proportion of arts and crafts sales – just nine per cent of the total value – there are some licences which play a strong part in the category. Hello Kitty has performed very well within the creative play arena and is the largest licensed and the third largest property within the market. Hello Kitty has items in most of the arts and crafts categories and is growing by 36 per cent.
Disney Princess, Cars and Peppa Pig remain the strongest licences, but recent months have seen Monster High emerge. No doubt Moshi Monsters will be just around the corner too.
The arts and crafts sector is less reliant on technology and the latest licences, but still has strong children and parent appeal. However, there is plenty of opportunity for creativity in this key area of the toy market.