Report: 56.8 Million Americans Have Played a Social Networking Game

According to a new report by The NPD Group, Social Network Gaming, approximately 20 percent of Americans ages 6 and older, or 56.8 million U.S. consumers, have played a game on a social network within the last three months. In terms of kids’ activities, according to the report, 23 percent of children ages 6 to 12 reported that they have played a game on a social network within the past three months.

The report also states that 35 percent of social network gamers are new to gaming and have never played any other type of gaming before playing on social networks. According to the report, gamers are nearly evenly divided between genders: 47 percent are male and 53 percent are female.

Social Network Gaming also reports that 10 percent of social network gamers have spent real money playing social networking games, although the games are free to play, and 11 percent of those surveyed are likely to make a future purchase. Gamers surveyed also report spending 20 percent less on gaming overall since they started playing social networking games.

Report: European Toy Sales Increase 5 Percent, U.S. Remains Unchanged

According to The NPD Group, although traditional toy sales in the United States remained unchanged during the first half of this year, revenue growth in Europe’s five largest toy markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK) experienced a 5 percent increase for the first half of 2010.

In the U.S., revenue totaled $7.771 billion from January 2010 to June 2010 compared to $7.748 billion generated during the same time period in 2009. In Europe, the UK experienced 8 percent growth, followed by Spain with 6 percent growth, Germany with 4 percent, France with 3 percent, and Italy with 2 percent, during the first half of 2010.

For the first half of this year, NPD EuroToys noticed that market growth was driven in part by sales of outdoor and sports toys. NPD EuroToys analysts also anticipate continued growth for Toy Story-licensed toys.  As of June, Star Wars is the No. 1 license for traditional toys in Europe, and Toy Story is the year’s fastest-growing license.

Report: Decline in Number of U.S. Gift Givers for Kids 0-2

According to Juvenile Products: 2010 Edition by The NPD Group, there has been a decline in the number of U.S. consumers who buy gifts for kids ages 0-2 in an average year. Since 2007, when the original Juvenile Products report was published, that number has declined from 47 percent to 40 percent.

The 2010 report also states that while the number of people buying gifts in a typical year has declined, the amount spent on baby showers and holidays has increased slightly. New baby gifts rose from $26 to $29. The report also states that grandparents spend the most on new baby gifts, an average of $72.

For the entire juvenile product category, clothing and layette was the most popular purchases in the past year, followed by toys, and books/music/video.

World Cup Spurs UK Toy Sales

According to The NPD Group, following tepid UK toy sales in April, May sales increased 12 percent while units rose 26 percent compared to May 2009. This is the first time since January that unit growth outpaced sales. Toys sold under £5 accounted for 73 percent of all units purchased in May, up 32 percent from the same month in 2009.

NPD reported that the No. 1 toy for May was Panini’s Official FIFA stickers. The stickers accounted for 29 percent of all units sold within the “all other” toys category for the month, and averaged around 49 pence. Citing the “all other” category as a major source of growth, The NPD Group stated that value in this category was up 44 percent, while unit growth for the category rocketed, increasing 149 percent compared to last May. FIFA, Pro Sports, and Match Attax were the top three properties for the category.

Easter Toy Sales Increase 5 Percent in UK

According to The NPD Group, traditional toy sales in the UK during the two weeks of Good Friday and Easter 2010 increased 5 percent in revenue. This year, toy sales during Good Friday week rose by 30 percent versus the prior week, which NPD says is not an unusual trend for the UK.

Based on NPD’s toy market research, grocers’ market share for the two-week Easter peak increased from 28 percent in 2009 to 37 percent this year. The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service reports that grocers raised their average price by 11 percent during Good Friday week (versus the prior week).

Properties such as Stars Wars, Ben 10, and Toy Story saw an increase in sales by more than 50 percent, compared to the prior week.

Report: UK First Quarter Toy Sales Rise 11 Percent

According to The NPD Group, traditional toy sales in the UK were up 11 percent in the first quarter of 2010 (January to March), totaling £241.5 million compared to the £218.3 million generated during the same time period in 2009.

While an increase in price points can be attributed to the growth, The NPD Group reported that UK consumers were also buying more traditional toys in the first quarter of this year than they were last year.

January, February, and March all experienced positive revenue growth, with respective increases of 3 percent, 14 percent and 13 percent. Unit sales decreased 5 percent in January, but increased 3 percent and 7 percent, respectively, in February and March. For the whole period, unit sales increased 2 percent to 42.8 million units.

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Report: HDTVs and Laptops Grow in Popularity Among Kids

According to a new report by The NPD Group, high-definition televisions (HDTVs) and laptops have become more popular with kids, while all other consumer electronics have remain stable in popularity.

The report, Kids & Consumer Electronics 6, states that HDTVs and laptop computers surpassed digital cameras last year in percentage of households that acquired one in the past 12 months. Cell phones, however, remain the most acquired consumer electronic device with 30 percent of households with kids ages 4 to 14 purchasing mobile phones in the past year.

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The Toy Book’s Toy Report 01/13/10

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Catch up on last week’s news! Read The Toy Book Toy Report for 01/13/10.

To view click here.

Report: 31 Percent of Kids Obtained Both Physical and Digital Content

According to Kids and Entertainment Content, a recent report from The NPD Group, 79 percent of kids ages 2-14 acquired some form of physical or digital content in the past year, with 31 percent acquiring both physical and digital content. In terms of money, $0.85 of every content dollar spent by kids went to physical items, while $0.15 went to digital.

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The Toy Book’s Toy Report 12/14/09

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Catch up on last week’s news! Read The Toy Book Toy Report for 12/14/09.

To view click here.