After low single digit growth through the summer, September value and volume sales both declined by five per cent, according to NPD's latest figures published this week by ToyNews.
The research giant points out that a calendar change in influential promotional activity last month was a contributor to the market performance, meaning there's a chance that some sales will have moved into the early part of October.
The data also shows that the average toy price in September 2012 was £6.87, compared to £6.86 in September 2011.
"The largest super category in the market was infant and pre-school and despite sales being four per cent in decline, there were many positive market performances in the sector," reveals the NPD report.
"Highlights continue to be tablet products, which were launched through the second half of 2011. LeapFrog's LeapPad and VTech's Innotab were the top selling items in September. Looking forward to Q4, expectations are the tablet lines will have room for continued growth against 2011 where stock was in tight supply in the lead up to Christmas.
"VTech Baby was the number one brand in infant and pre-school and was a key contributor to sales growth in the infant electronic learning category. Thomas & Friends was the number one licence in the category, with close to £1.5 million sales, while Playmobil continued to build on recent growth with sales up 19 per cent on 2011."
The full NPD report is published in the November issue of ToyNews, out later this week.
ToyNews and NPD recently extended their partnership with a new two-year deal, giving readers regular market data and analysis on the UK toy industry.