World Cup Spurs UK Toy Sales

According to The NPD Group, following tepid UK toy sales in April, May sales increased 12 percent while units rose 26 percent compared to May 2009. This is the first time since January that unit growth outpaced sales. Toys sold under £5 accounted for 73 percent of all units purchased in May, up 32 percent from the same month in 2009.

NPD reported that the No. 1 toy for May was Panini’s Official FIFA stickers. The stickers accounted for 29 percent of all units sold within the “all other” toys category for the month, and averaged around 49 pence. Citing the “all other” category as a major source of growth, The NPD Group stated that value in this category was up 44 percent, while unit growth for the category rocketed, increasing 149 percent compared to last May. FIFA, Pro Sports, and Match Attax were the top three properties for the category.

Enjoy the World Cup With Your Fingers

Zelosport has announced its latest game, World Cup Finger Soccer.

Featuring all 32 teams from the World Cup tournament, Zelosport’s game, for two or more players, is played akin to paper football and is resistant to food and drink accidents. The company believes that the widespread appeal of soccer makes the game playable across cultures, regardless of language barrier.

According to FIFA, the World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world. Approximately 715 million people watched the final match in 2006.

Chinese Factory Halts World Cup Toy Production

According to AFP, a Chinese factory has halted production of World Cup 2010 mascot toys after an investigation into alleged sweatshop conditions, the merchandise company for world football body FIFA said Tuesday. Global Brands Group, master licensee for all FIFA World Cup 2010 merchandise, withdrew manufacturing approval after an audit of the factory showed standards had been flouted.

The group launched the probe after reports that the factory, which produced figures of the event’s dreadlocked leopard mascot Zakumi, employed teenage workers, ran 13-hour shifts, and paid just $3 (2.2 euros) a day.

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