Blockbuster films roar in to lift summer sales

With data now available for the first two quarters of 2011, the total toy market in the UK grew by four per cent in value, but was down ten per cent in units.
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The unit decline was driven by high volume of low-priced football World Cup related stickers and trading cards sold in 2010. This also impacted the average selling price, which increased from £5.12 YTD June 2010 to £5.96 YTD June 2011.

However, the rest of the toy market remains healthy with nine super categories in growth for the month of June.

Action figures grew by six per cent during the month, driven by the release of Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, which propelled Transformers into the top property spot for June ahead of Ben 10. There were four Transformers items in the top ten best selling items for action figures, but the Ben 10 Ultimate Alien 10cm assortment remained the top selling item. June also saw continued growth for Bakugan and Star Wars.

The vehicles super category also experienced positive growth for June, with value up 27 per cent. This was driven by Cars, and even though the second film in the franchise didn’t hit cinemas until July, there was still strong growth with three items in the top five best sellers. Hot Wheels remained the top vehicles property for the month.

As well as both Transformers and Cars making an impact, June also saw Moshi Monsters growth jump again. With both the trading cards and Moshling figures in the top ten best selling toys across the total toy market in June, the property has had a huge increase over the last month and is now the third largest property in dolls (behind Barbie and Sylvanian Families).

“The summer blockbuster season is here. Last year, Toy Story was a huge boost on the market and gained eight per cent of all toy sales for the month of July,” said Jez Fraser-Hook, director of NPD Group’s UK toy business.

“With film licences continually playing an important part in the toy market, we will see in the next couple of months if any of this year’s film releases will be able to drive toy sales in a similar way.”

Top five properties

  1. Star Wars
  2. Toy Story
  3. Lego City
  4. Hello Kitty and Friends
  5. Nerf

Best property progression

Easy Set (Intex) - A rare spell of good weather helped the pools rise from number 119 last month to number 62 in June.

Best item progression

Transformers 3 Plus Assortment (Hasbro) - The launch of the film at cinemas helped the toy shoot up from 1,322 in May to 21 for the month of June.

Average price

June 2010 - £5.12
June 2011 - £5.96



Summer sales increase

UK Retail sales rose 1.8 per cent in value on a like-for-like basis in July 2009 and up 2.6 per cent on a total basis according to the British Retail Consortium.

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