China Toy Fair


NPD Group: Parents Demanding Balance in Children’s Play Experiences

The Evolution of Play, the latest report from The NPD Group, examines a variety of factors in a changing environment for play, toy purchasing, and shopping habits. At the top of most people’s minds is the impact electronic devices have had on children’s playtime with traditional play items. NPD noted that almost 40 percent of parents felt their child is spending less time with traditional toys, while slightly more than half (51 percent) said the devices had no impact at all.

Not surprisingly, as kids get older, the impact of technology becomes more important in terms of time spent with more traditional playtime items. In fact, younger children who use technology are still more likely to request traditional toys, and their use of devices is perceived to have little effect on playtime with toys.

Among the parents who say they spent less money on any type of play item for their kids over the past year, 54 percent cited the economy and less disposable income, compared with only 24 percent who called out a shift to technology.

According to the report, heavy spenders on technology products—those spending $200 or more a year—are actually the most engaged traditional toy buyers, and are more likely to shop most toy categories and spend more when they do make a purchase. For example, heavy tech buyers are nearly 40 percent more likely to also buy action figures, and when they do, they spend 60 percent more per capita. This pattern held for most toy categories.

Europe’s Top 10 Best Selling Action Figures to Date

Europe’s Top 10 best-selling Action Figures year to date (April 2013)

  1. Flair Giochi Preziosi‘s Ninja Turtles Basic Figures
  2. Mattel‘s WWE Figure Series 1
  3. Hasbro‘s Transformers Prime Powerizers
  4. Flair Giochi Preziosi‘s Ninja Turtles Powersound FX Figures
  5. Bandai‘s Ben 10 Alien Collection
  6. Flair Giochi Preziosi‘s Ninja Turtles Role Play Ninja Gear Combat Gear
  7. Hasbro‘s Transformers Prime Weaponizers
  8. Hasbro‘s Star Wars Clone Wars Figures
  9. Bandai‘s Power Rangers Super Samirai
  10. Flair Giochi Preziosi‘s Ninja Turtles Shell Raiser Vehicle

Source: The NPD Group

COMMENTARY: Disney’s Monsters U Sure to Scare Up Sales

Sulley Scare Mask

Disney is really good at a lot of things. One of those things is taking a beloved property and refreshing it, breathing new life into it, and turning it into a must-see movie or must-have property for a new audience of kids. They do it every year with Disney Princess (Last year was Cinderella, this year is The Little Mermaid). The film comes out of the vault, and the already incredible powerhouse that is Disney Princess (the No. 1 toy property ranked by annual 2012 dollar volume according to The NPD Group), launches an expanded program of licensed products focused on the Princess of the year.

However, Disney works some its best magic on the big screen, and Monsters University—due in theaters June 21—has success written all over it. Billed as a prequel to 2001′s Monsters Inc., the film follows fan favorites Sulley and Mike on their journey to becoming scaring professionals at Monsters University. (If you’re interested in attending, visit http://monstersuniversity.com/edu/.) [Read more...]

Spin Master Takes the Board Out of Games, Rises to No. 3 in Category

Spin Master Games is the No. 3 Games Manufacturer in Annual 2012, according to The NPD Group, and has recently acquired the worldwide rights to Perplexus.

Spin Master will be releasing a slate of new games for fall, including Perplexus Rookie, Perplexus Epic, Boom Boom Balloon, Hedbanz Act Up, and Logo Party.

For more information, visit www.spinmastergames.com.

LeapFrog’s Children’s Learning Tablets, Educational Software Dominate Top 10 Toys of 2012

According to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service report, LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., a leader in educational entertainment for children, topped the 10 best-selling toys list last year with its award-winning learning solutions. The LeapPad Explorer, LeapPad2, LeapPad2 bundles, and the Leapster Explorer educational software were among the top 10 toys sold in the U.S. Moreover, LeapFrog had three of the top five sellers in the toy industry last year. [Read more...]

MGA Entertainment Sees Accelerated Growth in 2012

MGA Entertainment, the largest privately held U.S. based toy company, posted 41 percent dollar growth in Q3 2012 versus a year-ago, according to The NPD Group.

Within the U.S., retailers continued to see explosive growth with Lalaloopsy, a global toy powerhouse driven by robust product, entertainment, and licensing programs.  Interest in the brand continues to develop as seen with the strong sales of Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Star: Harmony B Sharpthe first-ever talking, singing, and dancing Lalaloopsy doll.

This summer, MGA debuted Bratzillaz and Novi Stars.  Bratzillaz takes girls’ imagination on a supernatural flight of imagination to reveal their own special powers. Novi Stars combines cosmic adventure with cutting edge toy features never before seen in doll play.

Outside of girls’ toys, broader support for Little Tikes helped drive sales.  Little Tikes hottest retail sellers include Little Tikes Pillow Racers and iTikesa new line of pre-school toys that can be enhanced through the technology of Apple iDevices.

Bieber Tops NPD’s Hot List Once Again

For three weeks in September, The NPD Group fielded results from the unaided, open-ended question, “What would the kids you know say is the hottest new thing these days? It might be a celebrity, movie, TV show, toy, game, hobby, sport, website, brand, or retail store.”

[Read more...]

NPD: Kids Spending More Money on Digital Content

According to Kids and Entertainment Content, 2011 Edition, the latest report from The NPD Group, kids are spending more of their entertainment dollars on digital content compared to last year. For every dollar kids (ages 2 to 14) spend on entertainment content, $0.79 goes to physical content (versus $0.85 in 2009) and $0.21 goes toward digital format content ($0.15 in 2009).

While the majority of kids’ entertainment content is still acquired in a physical format, NPD reports, digitally acquired content has grown substantially over the past two years—a 17 percent increase for games, a 14 percent increase for music, and a 13 percent increase for movies. The study reports that kids start downloading digital content at a young age; approximately 50 percent of kids have paid for their first form of digital content by the age of 7.

Report: Kids Drive Household Purchases of Consumer Electronics

Kids are driving household purchases of consumer electronic (CE) devices, according to Kids and Consumer Electronics, 2011 Edition, the latest report The NPD Group.

The report showed that, when looking at devices purchased in the past year, 78 percent of portable video game systems purchased and 56 percent of portable digital media players (PDMP) purchased were given to the child. The report also detailed that 73 percent of kids use computers purchased, 74 percent use televisions, and nearly 60 percent of kids are using a portable or console gaming system.

For households with kids ages 4 to 14, newer devices, such as e-readers and media tablets, were acquired at single-digit rates (8 percent and 5 percent, respectively). The report also notes a slight decline in the average number of days in which kids use cell phones, PDMPs, and portable video game systems since last year. For all other devices, the average number of days has remained stable or declined, suggesting kids are maxed out on time.

Among households with kids ages 4 to 14, many consumers are purchasing CE devices online (for example, 46 percent for e-readers and 31 percent for desktop computers). In comparison, only 9 percent of toys are purchased online for kids in this age group.

Global Toy Sales Increased In 2010, Reports NPD

Based on its “Global Toy Market Estimates: 2011 Edition,” The NPD Group reported that 2010 global toy sales were $83.3 billion, up nearly 5 percent from 2009. This increase was largely due to the market in Asia, which nearly doubled the world growth rate at a 9.2 percent increase in sales. However, the U.S. continued to top sales in the toy market, at approximately $22 billion. American sales combined with Japan, China, UK, and France sales added up to just over 50 percent of global sales.

Europe suffered a 4 percent drop in sales from 2007 to 2010, partially due to fluctuating exchange rates. The emerging BRIC toy markets (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) reported a growth of 13 percent. The NPD Group expects a continuing positive trend this year, although not as dramatic as previous years. NPD also predicts a rebound in European sales.