China Toy Fair


NPD: Fashion Dolls Still in Fashion for the Holidays

According to retail sales data from The NPD Group, year to date through October, the doll category is entering the holiday season with dollar sales up 1 percent compared to year ago. The Fashion Themed Dolls segment is the main driver of this growth with year-over-year sales growth of 6 percent through October.

This increase is due not only to several new brands such as My Little Pony Equestria Girls and Sofia The First, but also growth in some of last year’s more popular brands, including Monster High, Doc McStuffins, and Lalaloopsy.

Within dolls, other subclasses that have experienced strong growth are Fashion Styling & Dressup and Fashion Themed Clothes, which include items such as Monster High Fashion Sets and Barbie Ultimate Closet.

The following lists the Top 15 Fashion Doll items for the last 13 weeks ending November 9, ranked on dollar sales and in alphabetical order:

Angry Birds Star Wars Licensed Products Provide a Boost to the Toy Industry

Hasbro Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga Death Star PackageBased on data from The NPD Group, Angry Birds Star Wars is the best new toy license in the big five European toy markets so far this year. Sales of Angry Birds Star Wars during this period was £5.3 million, ahead of second place Skylanders at £4 million, and third place Monsters University at £2.9 million. Angry Birds Star Wars is even the No. 1 license in the board games category.

Over the first seven months, Angry Birds and Angry Birds Star Wars combined ranked as the 14th biggest license overall in the big five European markets and 12th biggest overall in the UK. Just one year ago, Angry Birds alone was ranked at a much lower 39th place in the big five markets in Europe.

The original Angry Birds sold £4.2 million worth of toys in the first seven months of last year across the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The figure for the same seven-month period this year had almost doubled to £8.1 million. With the Angry Birds Star Wars sales performance of £5.3 million added in, in total, the Angry Birds license achieved combined sales of £13.4 million in the seven months through this July. [Read more...]

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.