NPD: Toy industry sees early growth in 2010

January saw a positive start to 2010, with the total traditional toy market up three per cent in value versus January 2009.
Publish date:
Social count:
10_Lego Toy Story 3 Buzz Lightyear.jpg

For the first time since the Woolworths closure, the market is showing growth driven by an increase in average price, now £5.67 versus £5.20 a year ago.

Despite the challenging economic conditions in 2009, the high price points (£20+) continued to grow and this trend has carried over into January with £20-plus price up eight per cent on last year.

“Consumers don’t see price as a major barrier to purchase, but there has to be a strong element of play value involved for high valued items to succeed,” commented Jez Fraser-Hook, director of The NPD Group’s Toy Business in the UK.

Building sets continued growing and was the fastest growing super category in January, up 90 per cent on last year.

This was driven by the continued success of Lego with a wide variety of ranges including the Lego Star Wars and Lego City ranges remaining popular. The launch of new Lego Atlantis and Lego Toy Story also proved popular this month with Woody and Buzz Rescue number three in the top selling building set items for the month.

The largest category, infant and pre-school, also grew in January, up 12 per cent in value with growth driven through a number of properties including Peppa Pig, Vtech Baby and Playmobil.

In The Night Garden made a strong start to the year and was the number two pre-school licence across total toys, behind Thomas and Friends. However, the top selling item remains the Vtech First Steps Babywalker, with the Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies Lights a close second.

January was a strong performing month for dolls, with the play-set themed dolls category up 37 per cent. The top three items show the strength of this category with the Littlest Pet Shop Collectables Assortment the top item, Sylvanian Families Car and Caravan number two and In My Pocket Ocean Mum and Baby Assortment number three. In fashion dolls, Barbie continues to rule and is the top property, up 30 per cent versus January 2009.

“There’s a strong feeling of optimism for the toy market going into 2010 and certainly initial indications are that it’s translating into sales. Hopefully, this will continue for the rest of year,” continued Fraser-Hook.


Featured Jobs

Vivid Job Logo 620 x 349

Digital Marketing Executive - Toys & Games

Vivid is Britain’s biggest toy company and the 20 largest in the world. With offices across the globe, they sell an amazing portfolio of toys and games to over 60 countries. Vivid is best known for its association with blockbuster brands and is very excited about future opportunities around the world.


UK Sales Agents

Liberty House Toys have been appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for the BiOBUDDi brand, and we are pleased to introduce this new unique, innovative and exciting range of 100% environmentally-friendly toy building blocks. We are seeking experienced sales agents with existing network in the toy retail market.

Gameplan Job Logo 620 x 349

Head of Product Development & Marketing

Our client is a privately owned French toy and games manufacturer which sells through distributors in forty countries. The company develops and sells innovative electronic interactive toys and games for the educational and gaming markets, and also takes suitable licenses. To progress its successful business development a Head of Product Development & Marketing is to to recruited.

HIT Entertainment Job Logo 620 x 349

Licensing Systems Administrator

The Contract System Coordinator is a newly created role to support the deal term entry process into Mattel’s new Contract Management System for its Licensing business. The role will support the Business Teams at the Deal & Amendment phase of the contracting process and act in conjunction with the System Administration team.