NPD: Summer boost predicted for UK toy business

Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 Olympic Games could help deliver four per cent uplift between May and August.
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NPD Group has predicted that a £1 billion Olympic and Jubilee souvenir boost could bolster the UK toy market by four per cent this summer.

Despite the latest market data from NPD showing that the value of the UK retail toy market for both grocers and toy shops dropped by one per cent last year - from £457 million to £451 million (source: NPD EuroToys Retail Tracking YTD, April 2012) - experts at the firm believe that if consumers spend just two per cent of the £1 billion expected to be spent on souvenirs and mementos of the Olympics and Jubilee on toys, the two big events could deliver a four per cent boost between May and August.

Notable toys include the Olympics Monopoly (Hasbro); Hornby's Team GB Velodrome set; Corgi's Routemaster bus and London taxi replicas; and plush versions of the Mandeville and Wenlock mascots from Golden Bear.

Frédérique Tutt, European analyst for NPD Group, said: "Even in a recession, it is rare for the toy market to decline, so a one per cent drop over the last four months indicates what a tough time it has been for consumers. However, after the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and the European football championships, we expect the London 2012 Olympics to deliver a significant boost to the UK toy market.

"The Olympics has already brought new characters to the soft toy and games market, as well as providing a springboard for manufacturers to develop their own themed ranges," Tutt continued. "Combined with the usual raft of blockbuster movies due for release, we expect this to deliver a strong boost to the UK toy market, which is already the biggest toy market in Europe."

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