NPD Reports Star Wars, Disney Princess among Top-Selling Toy Properties in Six Countries

npd_group_logoThe NPD Group recently released lists of the top five toy properties by country, ranked by value sales for January to June. Across the U.S., the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Australia, Star Wars is the one property that ranks among the top five properties for each country. In the U.S., the top toy properties are Disney Princess, Barbie, Nerf, Little Tikes, and Star Wars.

Lego ranks in the top five toys for the UK, Australia, and Germany, with both Lego City and Lego Duplo on the short list for Germany. Disney Princess, meanwhile, ranks among the five top-selling toy properties in the U.S., the UK, and Australia.

“The unique cultures of a country lend themselves to unique preferences, and the toy industry is no different,” says Frédérique Tutt, global toy industry analyst with The NPD Group. “However, there are clearly messages and styles of play that resonate with a child, regardless of geography.”

COMMENTARY: New Book Constructs Lego Cities

barronseduc_2260_1095264Never in my wildest tinkering with construction toys would I come up with building New York City’s Central Park, London’s Olympic Stadium (complete with a parachuting Queen Elizabeth), or Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral out of Lego bricks. Lego lovers prepare to be wowed. Warren Elsmore’s new book Brick City (Barron’s, 2013) blew my mind with page after page of realistic global landmarks constructed completely out of Legos. The book is a veritable trip around the world for fans of the popular building bricks.

Elsmore, a professional plastic model builder, begins by giving a brief overview of the tools you’ll need to pull off some of the fascinating feats accomplished within the pages of Brick City. Computer-Aided Design software, such as Lego Digital Designer, can help in creating a complete blueprint for any ambitious building project. Elsmore gives tips on finding bricks, customizing minifigures, and other preparations and tips you’ll need to embark on your Brick City journey.

Elaborate landmarks, such as the neo-Gothic Chicago Tribune building, often take some 27,000 or more bricks. London’s Olympic Stadium takes 120,000 bricks! Not all landmarks in the book come with directions. You won’t find a step-by-step guide to building, say, the Abraham Lincoln Memorial or a grand version of Westminster Abbey, but you will get guidance for smaller projects. Build a Brooklyn Brownstone building, Buckingham Palace, the Arc De Triomphe in Paris, or a tiny version of Westminster—all super cool. Readers will also get two glossy posters that feature Lego landmarks.

Brick City is available this month from booksellers and specialty retailers.

For more commentary from Loren, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!