Outdoor toy firms positive for a strong 2013

Plum Products, MV Sports, Re:creation and Traditional Garden Games optimistic.
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The outdoor toys sector faced a tough 2012, mainly thanks to the poor weather, but suppliers remain optimistic for the year ahead.

Plum Products, which supplies play houses, trampolines, slides and more, weathered the storm, with swing sets up over 20 per cent and trampoline sales almost doubling.

Sales director Jon Tilley (pictured centre) told ToyNews: “The trade is always optimistic at this time of year with the spring and summer not far away. With Easter coming a little early again we are hopeful for a great start to the season. Parents love to get their kids out in the fresh air. As ever, we hold our breath and hope that the sun is going to shine. The outdoor trade is so dependent on this.”

Traditional Garden Games’ Richard Alexander Smyth added: “A repeat of last year’s growth for us would be great. We believe the consumer will continue to focus on value for money in 2013, and this is supported by the high levels of interest shown in our 5 in 1 Games Compendium and our Sports Day Set.”

Wheeled toys specialists are also confident. Re:creation and MV Sports both showed growth last year.

Re:creation marketing director Seth Bishop (pictured, right) said: “Despite the challenges outdoor faced in 2013, largely due to weather, we experienced growth from our Razor scooter brand. 

“The outdoor category remains a focus area for our company. We are investing further in the category and building beyond our historic strength in the ride-on segment. We are confident we will see growth in 2013 whatever the weather.”

Re:creation is launching Air Storm action toys in spring and RazorX skateboards in autumn.

Phil Ratcliffe, sales and marketing director at MV Sports (pictured, left), commented: “Outdoor will perform if the sun shines and wheeled will perform if the offer is right.

“We expect our wheeled offering to be very strong this year as we have an exceptionally strong line-up.”

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SECTOR GUIDE: Outdoor toys

The outdoor and sports toys sector was worth £363m in 2011, up ten per cent thanks to some extremely mild weather and, unusually, enjoys two peak periods. We take a look at what some of the key players are promoting this year.

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