NPD: Sunshine brings sales back to the toy sector

The toy market started to regain its equilibrium with sales no longer declining
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With the long awaited reappearance of the sun in June, the toy market started to regain its equilibrium with sales no longer declining but merely remaining flat for the month, showing 0% growth in value.

Outdoor and sports toys continued to grow with a massive surge in summer seasonal toys, up 28 per cent, with playground equipment, pools and water and sand toys all contributing to sales. Both Little Tikes and Nerf remain the top selling properties in outdoor toys, with Swingball also having a very strong month.

The sunny weather may well have been a key element to the success of Character Options’ Chill Factor Squeezy Slushie Maker, which leapt up the sales ranks bcoming one of the top selling toys for the month.

June was also a good month for pre-school licences, as it saw both Peppa Pig and Thomas & Friends growing and showing that mature licences can still compete with the newcomers. Peppa was particularly strong in games in June, while Thomas’ growth was all about pre-school vehicles.

Other pre-school licences which continue to have high sales are Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Mike the Knight, while Doc McStuffins, Tree Fu Tom and Dinosaur Train are all building up sales.

“Pre-school TV shows have always been a staple of the licensed toy market,” said Jez Frazer-Hook, practice director of NPD Group’s toy business in the UK.

“Evergreen pre-school licences like Thomas and Peppa always have strong sales in toys. But, with new pre-school licences launched every year, they have to work hard to hold onto their sales.

“In the last 12 months, the new pre-school licences launched have been particularly strong, with boys loving the action element of Jake, Mike and Tom, while girls enjoy the cosy camaraderie of Doc. The range of toys and licences available for pre-schoolers is extensive but also exciting, generating plenty of choice and engagement with the pre-school category.”

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