"Innovation is key" says BTHA chairman

Innovation was the main driver behind the five per cent growth of the UK toy market last year, according to BTHA chairman Kevin Jones in his opening Toy Fair address.
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Jones said: "The one thing we're very proud of is the innovation in the UK toy market. Over 300 of the top 500 products were brand new toys and games. Not only from established players, but also from brand new companies as well. And the key to their success has been innovation."

NPD analyst Frederique Tutt outlined some of the headline figures from the market this year, valuing the UK business at £2.2bn at retail and as the fastest growing European territory alongside Spain, with five per cent growth.

Tutt said growth in the UK was driven by a number of key categories - Outdoor and Sports, which was up 12 per cent, thanks to a hot summer, high ticket products and a spike from the World Cup; Pre-school was up six per cent and Youth Electronics, which was the fastest growing category, up 23 per cent.

The spend from the eight-plus age group was also encouraging and labelled by Tutt as "Kids Getting Younger Older".

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