NPD: Construction and plush rule

October sales have continued to grow in the traditional toy market for the UK, although at a slightly slower pace than in September.
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Value sales were up 11 per cent for the month, together with the same increase in volume.

Only two super categories are showing declines in October 2010 with action figures and games & puzzles down year-on-year.

Categories driving growth in the month are plush and building sets, which are the two top performers growing at 28 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.

Plush growth continues to be driven by the special feature category but traditional plush is also growing versus last October at 12 per cent.

Within traditional plush we have seen growth from more traditional children’s favourites Winnie the Pooh and Peppa Pig, but also a new entry from Zingzillas.

Building sets continue the strong growth the category has seen all year and licences have had quite a big impact with Halo Wars, Toy Story and Harry Potter joining Star Wars as the top licenses in building sets.

Although standard building sets make up the lion’s share of value, the junior category is also growing strongly, with Mega Bloks Build and Create Junior the top property there.

Toy Story is the top property in the total market for the month of October, as it has been in recent months since the release of Toy Story 3.

There is now such a large number of Toy Story items in the market, it will be hard to see any other property coming close by the end of the year, especially with the DVD now on the market for the run-up to Christmas.

The toy market year to date has now exceeded pre-recession sales (YTD October 2008) in both value and volume which is very encouraging and sets the market up well for the key period of the year.

Along with the top performing categories we are now starting to see growth from other areas of the toy market that have seen more difficult times.

“Consistently strong categories such as building sets and plush continue to grow but areas that have seen declines, such as youth electronics are now in positive growth again” said Jez Fraser-Hook, director of NPD Group’s toy business in the UK.

“The Toy Story impact can also be seen by positive growth within licences which are starting to gain share in the market again after a tough time.”

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