LEGO Simpsons, Loom bands and World Cup stickers boost traditional play, says NPD

Categories such as arts and crafts are enjoying revival thanks to the latest crazes sweeping the playgrounds.
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Loom Bands, LEGO Minifigures and Panini cards are helping to boost traditional play, according to the latest results from NPD.

Categories such as arts and crafts and building sets are enjoying revival thanks to the latest crazes sweeping the playgrounds and the collectables market.

A record £1 million of Loom bands were sold in the first week of July, while a total of £9 million have been sold since the start of the year.

Meanwhile, 25 million World Cup related toys have been sold so far this year, most of which NPD reports are stickers.

“Collectables have definitely made a come back in 2014 and boosted the traditional segments,” said Frédérique Tutt, global toy industry analyst with The NPD.

While the high tech category is the fastest growing segment – up 24 per cent year to date June 2014 – both the arts and crafts and the building sets categories are featuring significant sales increases: up 16 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.

“We hadn’t seen such trends since at least 2011 and it is great news for the market as small purchases and impulse buys are on the rise again,” added Tutt.

The group suggests that leading the return of the collectables market in the UK is the sweeping Loom band craze, while the launch of The Simpsons LEGO Minifigure collection had lead to a surge in blind bag sales, now up 52 per cent compared to the same period last year.

“It’s interesting to see that despite the increase in popularity of digital games and gadgets, children are still very receptive to old fashion toys,” continued Tutt.

“Here we have a perfect example of how toy fashion repeats itself. Home made bracelets such as the Brazilian bracelets in the 80s, Panini cards and LEGO have proved their staying power and have been a recurring favourite with kids for many generations.”

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