NPD: Collectables sales surge helps market growth

UK market up four per cent in first three months of 2011; Lego Ninjago is best new brand.
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A surge in sales of collectables has helped the UK toy market to four per cent growth in the first three months of this year, according to NPD.

Industry analyst Frederique Tutt said that the collectables trend is likely to be bigger than ever in the UK this year, with star performers including Lego minifigures, cards from Topps, Spin Master’s Zoobles, Squinkies from Character and Moshi Monsters from Vivid.

The £5 to £9.99 price point has seen the most dynamic growth with an 11 per cent increase in the first quarter. The best new brand in NPD’s Retail Tracker is currently Lego’s Ninjago, which, as well as having a toy line, is on tour and also on TV with a mini cartoon.

There is also a resurgence of packaging designed to add to the anticipation for children, as ‘blind packs’ supersede traditional blister presentation, with NPD seeing this as an increasing trend.

“The collectables trend is likely to be bigger than ever in the UK this year and it is the kids who have the power to make or break a brand with their choice,” said Tutt. “The data indicates that Lego Ninjago has the potential to be a big winner.

“However, these first few months of the year are key to establishing new brands, as retailers don’t tend to give those that fail to impress a second chance. We’re expecting the first four months of the year to confirm the very good start, with a seven per cent increase on the same period for 2010.”

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