NPD Reports Star Wars, Disney Princess among Top-Selling Toy Properties in Six Countries

npd_group_logoThe NPD Group recently released lists of the top five toy properties by country, ranked by value sales for January to June. Across the U.S., the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Australia, Star Wars is the one property that ranks among the top five properties for each country. In the U.S., the top toy properties are Disney Princess, Barbie, Nerf, Little Tikes, and Star Wars.

Lego ranks in the top five toys for the UK, Australia, and Germany, with both Lego City and Lego Duplo on the short list for Germany. Disney Princess, meanwhile, ranks among the five top-selling toy properties in the U.S., the UK, and Australia.

“The unique cultures of a country lend themselves to unique preferences, and the toy industry is no different,” says Frédérique Tutt, global toy industry analyst with The NPD Group. “However, there are clearly messages and styles of play that resonate with a child, regardless of geography.”

Toy Sales for Easter 2014 Are Up Year-over-Year

According to data from The NPD Group Inc., U.S. dollar sales of toys increased 3 percent in the four weeks leading up to Easter, compared to the four weeks preceding Easter of last year. Easter toy sales got a boost from the warmer weather provided by the holiday occurring three weeks earlier than last year. This was also evident in the strong growth performance of outdoor and sports toys in the four weeks leading up to Easter.

Comparing the pre-Easter period of March 23 to April 19 against March 3 to 30 last year, U.S. toy sales declined by 1 percent, but enjoyed 3 percent year-to-date dollar gains through the holiday.

Measured in dollar sales, the top toy growth segments were: outdoor & sports toys, with 20 percent growth; building sets, with 10 percent growth; and arts & crafts, with 10 percent growth.

Ralph Thielert Acquires Distributor iToy

iToy.LogoRalph Thielert has acquired iToy, a distribution company specializing in the distribution of toy-related products and services. The Lichtenstein-based company will act as a full service distributor to German-speaking territories, providing warehousing, invoicing, and trade market services.

iToy will also act as a sales agency and distribution and logistics consultant to domestic and international toy producers. The company’s distribution will continue to cover specialty stores, food retailers, online trade, and wholesale.

Thielert has more than 20 years of experience in the toy industry, including positions at Studio 100 Media GmbH and Altenburger Spielkarten, Leinfelden.

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...]

CTA Reports Increase in Toy Sales, Brand Awareness

China Toy Association (CTA) has released its “2010-2011 China Toy Consumption Report/ 10-2011 China Department Stores’ Toy Sales Report.” The survey included responses from more than 5,000 consumers and 700 department stores about infant, educational, plush, electronic games, plastic electronic, dolls, models, cartoon-licensed, and ride-on toy brands.

The report revealed that toys priced at $15-$30 (USD) have become more popular, with sales increasing 4 percent last year compared to 2009.

In terms of retail destinations, last year more consumers (3 percent increase) purchased toys at chain stores, online stores, or other channels compared to 2009. Additionally, 80 percent of department store sales grew in 2010, and the average sales per square meter totaled $2,200.

Brand awareness also increased. More than 80 percent of consumers could remember the brand names of the toys they purchased, an increase of more than 4 percent compared to 2009.

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.

[Read more...]