NPD: January dip hits, but key sectors surge on

Growth in the construction, collectables and outdoor categories helps soften the blow of an overall two per cent sales dip.
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While traditionally January is the smallest month of the year for toy sales, accounting for just four per cent of annual sales, this year was slower than expected with total traditional toy sales down two per cent in value and seven per cent in volume.

The average price continues to grow and is now £6.29 compared to £5.97 in January 2011. However, there were areas of strong growth, with both building sets and outdoor and sports toys in double digit growth for January.

Building sets remains the fastest growing category, with value up 35 per cent on January 2011 driven by new launches.

The biggest launch is Lego’s new girls brand, Lego Friends which was the number nine property across total toys for the month, with over £1 million of sales and two items in the top ten.

The second year of Lego’s Ninjago also added to sales and is the number six property across total toys, with sales nearly double that of last year. 

This is in addition to continued sales from brands launched last year, with Character Building and Kre-O adding to the value of the sector and Mega’s Halo range growing.

Hasbro's Kre-O helped grow the construction category.

Outdoor and sports growth is driven by the continued success of Nerf and Razor USA in January, as well as continued mild weather at the start of the year.

A number of properties had a strong start to the year including Moshi Monsters, which continued to build on a successful Christmas and was the third largest toy property for the month. Play-set themed dolls accounted for 51 per cent of total Moshi sales, although the brand also grew in the collectable toys and games areas and is expanding into other categories throughout 2012.

“Toy licences are evolving and while there will continue to be a close link between major film releases, TV shows and toys, in recent years there has been a trend for new licences to come from digital areas, such as video games and online sites,” said Jez Fraser-Hook, director of NPD Group’s toy business in the UK. 

“The phenomenal success of Moshi Monsters in the last year, as well as continuing growth from other licences such as Halo and Club Penguin, shows there is an opportunity for the toy market to match children’s demand for toys from different arenas.”

Top 5 properties

January 2012

1. Cars
2. Star Wars
3. Moshi Monsters
4. Lego City
5. Nerf

Best property progression

January 2012

Lego Friends
The new girls-focused line climbed from number 218 in December to number nine in January…

Best item progression

January 2012

Lego Friends Olivia Tree House (Lego)
The product shot up to number 26 from number 2,336 in December…


Average Price


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