NPD Report Shows 36 Percent of U.S. Plays Digitally Downloaded Games

According to The NPD Group’s Exploring Digital Gaming report, an estimated 36 percent of the U.S. population ages 13 and up are digital gamers, defined as currently playing digitally downloaded games on either a computer, video game console, or portable device. Of that percentage, 16 percent report only playing games downloaded digitally.

The computer is the most popular device for digital gaming, owning 90 percent of digital gamers playing on the device, while 28 percent play digitally downloaded games on a video game console. Although digital play is increasing among console players, only about two-thirds of primary console players—or those who play on consoles most often—purchase digital games more than once per year. Only 14 percent purchase on a regular, monthly basis.

When asked about their purchase preference if both physical and digital formats of a game are being offered at the same price, 44 percent of primary console players are more likely to choose physical in this scenario. Primary computer players do not automatically choose digital, with the group being split between 25 percent for digital, 28 percent for physical, and the remaining gamers being indecisive.

 

Interview with Lego President Soren Torp Laursen

The Toy Book spoke with Soren Torp Laursen, president of the Lego Group, about the state of the construction toys category and how Lego is adapting to trends.

The Toy Book: Building sets saw a 23 percent increase in sales from 2011 to 2012, according to the NPD Group. And the category is the strongest toy category right now. Why has the construction category taken off over the past couple of years?

LEGO_LogoSoren Torp Laursen: Building is the best and most versatile play experience available to children, and it is our DNA. Our single brand status has given us the focus and discipline to offer the best quality material and grow our business—and the category along with it. Our momentum has been strong over the last eight years, which furthers our ability to invest in expanding the brand to invite new users and drive continued growth. Parents and children alike recognize the lasting value and versatility of a Lego building experience, which is why we strive to meet their evolving needs with Lego solutions. We don’t see that different play patterns need to be discreet experiences, and fortunately, our brand’s versatility allows us to adapt compelling play patterns to the building sets category, such as action figures, dolls and play sets, vehicles, and gaming. By changing the way we approach what constitutes a building experience, without fundamentally changing what makes it a Lego experience, we continue to deliver relevant, yet familiar, Lego products that are driving industry growth.  

TB: What are some of the biggest trends you’ve noticed in the construction category recently?

STL: Perhaps the biggest trend in building sets at the moment is licensing, which seems to be increasing as other players seek to establish or grow their businesses. Building sets is an incredibly tough toy category to enter, establish, and sustain, therefore it is not for dabblers. Being a player requires costly complexities in molding and supply chain operations, plus research and development to be relevant and broad enough to attract a sustainable fan base, which we have found comes not only from single event-based properties, but from a wide variety of original and licensed themes that appeal to any child of any age. [Read more...]

The UK’s Top 10 Best-Selling Toys to Date

The UK’s Top 10 best-selling Toys year to date (April 2013)

  1. Vivid ImaginationsMoshi Monsters Moshling Figures
  2. Lego‘s Lego Minifigures
  3. Leapfrog‘s Leappad Explorer Tablet
  4. Hasbro‘s Furby Hot and Cool
  5. Vivid ImaginationsMoshi Monsters Blind Bag
  6. Mattel‘s Monster High Doll
  7. Leapfrog‘s Leapfrog Explorer Game
  8. VTech‘s Innotab Learning Tablet
  9. Mattel‘s Cars 2 Character Clipstrip
  10. Flair‘s TMNT Basic Figures

Source: The NPD Group

Gaming Devices Remain Dominant Consumer Electronics Used by Kids

According to the Kids and Consumer Electronics: 2012 Edition, the latest report from the NPD Group, portable and console video game systems continue to have the highest usage levels among kids ages 4 to 14, but media tablets experienced the highest increase in usage at 13 percent this year, versus only 3 percent last year.

Additionally, while usage of the more sophisticated devices such as computers and video game devices tend to increase as kids get older, tablet usage is highest among younger children, which highlights how important it is for manufacturers to make their devices easy to use. According to the report, households with kids ages 4 to 14 own an average of 10 different devices, with kids using an average of five of those devices.

Televisions, computers, and cell/smartphones continued to maintain the highest household ownership, while portable digital music players saw the largest drop in household ownership with just 35 percent owning these devices in 2012, compared to 48 percent last year. Household ownership of console and portable video game systems, media tablets, and digital video cameras experienced the most significant increases.

Portable video game systems are the most popular devices personally owned by kids ages 4 to 14, with 6 years of age being the average age of adoption; this is slightly younger than last year, when the average age was 6.4.

This post was originally written by Loren Moreno and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Acquisition Rises to 75 Percent for Online Gamer Segment

Results from the Online Gaming 2012 survey are in. According to the NPD Group, 67 percent of all gamers reported that they had acquired at least one game in either a physical or digital format within the past three months. This figure rose to 75 percent when looking specifically at online gamers only.

40 percent of all gamers obtained at least one game from both the physical and digital formats. The total population of gamers acquired an average of eight games. Those only purchasing digital games reported an average of six games, compared to the three for those who acquired only physical games. The findings appear to be influenced by the multifunctional devices online gamers use to access their games, including both free and paid.

This post was originally written by Lindsay Gordon and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

British Toy Sales Increase 4 Percent

According to The NPD Group, sales for the British toy market increased by 4 percent in revenue during the first three months of the year, primarily fueled by the  popularity of collectible toys. The trend saw a 9 percent increase in revenue growth. The building sets and plush categories also fared well. Toy sales up to the first three weeks of March grew 7 percent in value. NPD estimates that the first quarter of 2011 represents approximately 16 percent of annual sales.

Toy, Game, and Technology Summit to Come in September

Leaders from around the toy, video game, and technology industries will converge in Santa Clara, Calif., this fall to generate cross-platform relations. From September 22 – 23, the Toy, Game, & Technology Summit will allow executives to learn from each other as each develops new products for young people.

The summit will focus on pressing toy companies to adopt digital assets, as well as helping video game and technology companies learn how to better establish partnerships with traditional toy manufacturers. The event, sponsored by the Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA), features industry leaders such as Joseph Olin, president Academy of Interactive Arts and Science; TIA President Carter Keithley (pictured above); Reyne Rice, trend specialist at TIA; and Anita Frazier, toys and video games industry analyst at The NPD Group.

The event will take place at the Santa Clara Convention Center. TIA members will receive 15 percent off admission, and more information can be found by clicking here.

Nintendo Dominates Top Family Games for May

The NPD Group has released its list of Top-Selling Family Entertainment Titles for May 2010, with games for Nintendo consoles filling 18 of the 20 spots. Maintaining its standing from April, Ubisoft‘s Just Dance for the Nintendo Wii came in at No. 1, while Picross 3D and Zhu Zhu Pets, both for the Nintendo DS, came in second and third, respectively.

The two non-Nintendo DS or Wii games on the list were Guitar Hero 5 and Rock Band 2, coming in at No. 11 and No. 16, respectively, both for the Xbox 360.

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NPD Announces 2009 Toy Sales Results

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According to The NPD Group, U.S. retail sales of toys generated $21.47 billion in 2009 compared to $21.65 billion in 2008, a decline of less than 1 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2009 (October through December), although revenues were flat, unit sales were up 4 percent compared to the same period in 2008.

[Read more...]

Sign of Growth For Most Global Toy Markets

According to The NPD Group, toy sales from January to October in 11 global toy markets showed signed of growth. Outside of the U.S. and UK, which experienced moderate revenue declines, and Spain, which saw flat sales, the countries that were analyzed—Germany, Poland, France, Australia, Italy, Austria, Belgium, and Portugal—experienced revenue growth when compared to the same period last year.
[Read more...]