This year's UEFA European Football championship is already impacting the UK toy market, a few weeks before the competition starts.
Panini's UEFA Euro 2016 sticker packs were the top-selling toy in the UK in April, with a sales value of over £1.1m in the month.
“The last significant football event - the 2014 World Cup - had a huge impact on the toy industry with more than 24 million football related toys sold – that’s almost 10 per cent of all toy sales in the UK that year” said Frédérique Tutt, toys global industry analyst at The NPD Group.
“Our data shows how popular the European Championship is, with football related toy sales representing £6.7m to May 7th, compared to £6.1m in total for the 2014 World Cup (both figures include sales of Premier League related toys).
"And with the opening kick-off more than three weeks away, the first signs of what could be the biggest toy craze of the summer in the UK are already perceptible. Almost one in five of all toys sold in the UK in the last week of April was football related."
British consumers are known to embrace sports-fuelled buying trends and crazes. In 2014, 24 million toys, cards and stickers were sold in Britain in total throughout the World Cup competition, despite England being eliminated in the group stages. Whereas just under three million toys, cards and stickers were sold in Germany in the same period.
In France, UEFA Euro stickers have topped the toys sales league since the last week of April while in Belgium, the top two best-selling toys in April were both packs of Panini cards.
“As always, the UK has taken an early lead and started to support the collectible trend before their European counterparts," added Tutt.
"Now we wait to see what happens when the real competition starts on the pitch."