UK Toy Retail Survey - Part 2 - ToyNews

UK Toy Retail Survey - Part 2

This year we?ve extended the ToyNews retail survey with the help of Carrick James Market Research, which compiled the results independently for us. Ronnie Dungan analyses the results....
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What products have offered the best margins?

Crafts - 11%
Puzzles - 7%
Gifts - 6%
Greeting Cards - 6%
Diddl and Friends - 4%
Lego - 4%
Matchbox Cars - 4%
Plastic Kids - 4%
Soft Toys - 4%
Sylvanian Families - 4%
Toy Clearance - 4%
Wooden Toys - 4%
WWE - 4%
Others - 26%

(Revell Kids, Fireworks, Paint, Hot Wheels, Nursery, Clothes, Chicco, Outdoor Toys, Video Games, Cars, In The Night Garden, Educational Products, Fifi and the Flower Tots, Cycles, Star Wars, Matresses.)

Another pot pourri of answers to this question, which is obviously one of the most important issues for shop-owners – what makes them the most money? Trading cards came out on top last year, but it is crafts and puzzles which have been the most profitable lines this year. A sign parents are tiring of toys that crash, bang and wallop?

Which suppliers have offered the best customer service?

Flair - 19%
Playmobil - 9%
Orchard - 7%
Tomy - 6%
Character Options - 6%
Hornby - 4%
Schleich - 4%
ABG - 4%
Mattel - 4%
Le Toy Van - 4%
Others - 26%

Another category which carries much kudos for suppliers and Flair has once again bettered its performance of last year to come top of the heap, once more by some distance. Mattel, which came out on top last year has again fallen from favour.

Playmobil did well last year and has slightly bettered that performance, as did Orchard and Tomy, but Flair is the yardstick by which retailers are measuring everyone else.

Which products have the best marketing support?

Doctor Who - 11%
Character Options - 9%
Mattel - 7%
Playmobil - 7%
Lego - 7%
Transformers - 6%
Sylvanian Families - 6%
Hasbro - 4%
Others - 17%

Combine the answers for Doctor Who and Character Options and it’s a convincing win for the boys from Oldham. Slightly galling for Mattel given its year-round TV support for its range, but Character manages to retain high visibility for the Doctor Who line outside of its TV activity. Just visit Dream Toys to see it hogging the cameras every year.

What has been the biggest disapointment of 2007?

Lego - 19%
Summer Toys - 9%
Toy recalls - 6%
Supermarkets - 6%
Trade - 6%
Spiderman - 6%
Lack of Customers - 6%
Bratz - 4%
Barbies - 4%
Internet Shopping - 4%
Other - 4%

And this is the one not to win. But Lego has managed to do it convincingly, its stock issues clearly upsetting a good many store owners. But, it’s only because they know the product sells so well. Very frustrating.

What have been the highlights of the year?

Transformers - 13%
Doctor Who - 9%
In The Night Garden - 7%
Ben 10 - 7%
Customers - 6%
Playstation 3 - 4%
Diddl and Friends - 4%
Sylvanian Families - 4%
Other - 19%

The ‘adverts in disguise’ as one cynic labelled them, did the job for Hasbro in 2007. The film critics might have thought they were being clever but kids clearly weren’t looking for plot twists and character development – they wanted cars. That were robots. With guns. And who wouldn’t?

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