LEGO and Loom Bands help British toy market to best growth since 2010

New results from the NPD Group reveal that sales have been driven by the arts and craft, building sets and youth electronics categories.
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LEGO, Loom Bands and Panini Stickers have helped the British toy market experience its best sales growth since 2010, according to the latest results from the NPD Group.

According to retail sales data from the firm, year to date sales of toys across the UK has increased by six per cent compared to the same period last year, signifying its strongest growth in four years.

Coinciding with the grand unveiling of the Dream Toys of 2014, the NPD Group also predicts that Christmas spend will help the industry realize year end growth of up to four per cent.

The growth is expected to bring annual sales to over £3billion – an increase of £166million in one year.

And it looks like it is tech toys, construction and arts and craft driving the most sales this Christmas period.

'This growth is due to the continued interest in interactive/connected toys, and performance in sales of classic categories such as building sets and arts and crafts as well as new, highly anticipated products coming to the market in time for Christmas,' said NPD in a press release.

Panini Stickers, LoomBands and LEGO Minifigures are among the products spurring growth in an industry that ‘has otherwise been flat since 2011,’ the firm continued.

'Increased interest in these low priced and collectable toys, as well as a healthy growth in impulse purchasing has meant the average price for toys dropped from £7.69 to £6.95. A swathe of hot licenses have also contributed to the positive results, with sales of licensed toys increasing by 10 per cent this year compared to last. Licensed toys now represent 27 per cent of total toy industry sales.'

The top performing licenses, of course include Frozen, Star Wars, Disney Princess, World Cup Soccer and Peppa Pig.

“The British toy market is leading resurgence in toy sales in Europe,” said Frederique Tutt, toys global industry analyst for the NPD Group.

“The innovation that the industry has invested in has also started to pay back. Impulse sales of collectables and lower-priced toys are up as well as licenses from movies including Frozen, and this year’s craze, Loom Bands.

“These two factors combined delivered the fastest growth rate in toy sales since 2010 in the first nine months of 2014 which suggests that Christmas 2014 might be the best for some time.”


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Best of British: Part one

Whether it's a loaf of bread or a multi-million pound business, nothing compares to the taste of home. And the UK has a stellar line-up of toy firms in its midst, each as impressive as the last. Here, Robert Hutchins explores the heritage, products and plans for the future with some of Britain's greatest, starting with Sambro.

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