China Toy Fair


Online Acquisition of Video Games Growing in Canada

According to a new report by The NPD Group, “Video Game Acquisition in Canada,” Canadian gamers are slowly shifting towards digital properties and away from traditional, packaged video games. The study polled 4,006 gamers across Canada, ranging from age 13-54, between September 2010 and February 2011.

According to the report, an estimated $84 million were spent on games through digital downloads. Sixty-five (65) percent of games were purchased via physical retail outlet.

Still, the study showed that some gamers are reluctant to buy through a digital download—88 and 81 percent of console and portable gamers, respectively, chose to purchase physical copies of games. Additionally, PC and Mac gamers totaled 20 percent of those who reported they have acquired at least one game via a social networking channel.

Of those who prefer to buy a physical copy, 58 percent say it’s because they just like having a physical copy, while 35 percent say they like going to the store because it has other things they need. The report also analyzed traditional gamers and the growing amount of gamers that are emerging from the smartphone and tablet markets.

Report: Kids Socialize Differently As They Grow Older, No Effect on Toy Playing

According to a new report by The NPD Group, Kids Leisure Time IV, as kids get older they socialize with others in different ways, replacing person-to-person communication with other forms of socialization, such as social networks, cell phones, and video chats, which may be considered another form of entertainment. According to the report, kids ages 2 to 4 spent 17.5 hours per week spending actual face time with friends or siblings, with the average hours per week dropping off as they aged (10.8 hours for ages 9 to 12).

While kids have the same number of hours to spend on leisure time (68 leisure hours in a typical week), they have more activities that they are engaging in, requiring them to reprioritize how they spend their time, reported NPD.

Although kids may be engaging in more activities, and have new forms of entertainment, NPD says this has minimal impact on kids’ interaction with toys; unlike movies, kids are still as actively engaged with toys as they were in the past few years. NPD reports that kids may even be spending slightly more hours per week with toys than they did in 2009.

Report: Toys Most Popular With Kids Ages 3 to 8 in Q4 2010

The NPD Group released the fourth quarter 2010 (October through December) results from its Kids Industry Data Service (KIDS), a monthly, syndicated tracking service that provides users with statistics about purchases made for kids—from birth through age 14.

According to the report, the categories that captured the most dollar share for kids during that period were apparel or accessories with 17 percent, toys or board games with 14 percent, and video game system hardware, and video games or PC game software, with 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Footwear rounded out the top five with 8 percent.

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NPD Analyst: Retailers Scrambling to Recover Lost Sales

Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst of The NPD Group, initially expected that the holiday 2010 season would “be remembered as a good year, not a great one.”
“To be great,” said Cohen right before Christmas, “the consumer would have to be in a frenzy and retailers would still be stocked with plenty of product to go around.” According to Cohen, retailers practiced the theory that it is better to sell out than to have leftovers.
On Monday, Cohen revised his outlook saying: “Holiday 2010 just went from a truly Merry Christmas for retailers to a lost weekend with retailers scrambling to recover lost sales.” Cohen called the post-Christmas weekend “brutal,” citing an already shortened post-holiday shopping weekend due to the holiday falling on a Saturday and the Sunday snowstorm in the Midwest and Northeast.
“All-in-all, retailers will lose about 0.5 [percent] of sales with the loss of this big post-Christmas day. And by the time they make it up, the sales will fall out of the range of the ‘holiday numbers’,” Cohen said. “Consumers will now have to wait longer to use those gift cards and make their returns. This is an important part of the sales in that consumers tend to spend approximately an additional 16 percent above the face value of gift cards and returns.”