According to The NPD Group, sales of World Cup-themed toys have been growing since the start of the year, as fever for the event starts to take hold across the UK. One toy out of every nine sold, or over 9.1 million toys, have been linked to the competition.
More than one quarter, or 27 percent, of all toys sold in the week commencing May 11 were related to the tournament, with the best-selling toy that week being Panini’s World Cup Brazil Official sticker album. Two other items in the top 15 directly linked to the competition were also collectibles: Panini’s World Cup Blister pack of 50 stickers and Topps Match Attax England trading cards.
Stickers and cards represent 93 percent of all toy merchandise linked to the event. Although they are aimed at kids ages 6 to 10, their appeal is much wider, with young adults and dads embracing them.
In 2010, the year of the last tournament, the UK sold more toys linked to the World Cup than any of the four big European markets. NPD Group figures show that World Cup toy sales reached £18.5m in Britain, compared to £8m in Germany. The value of the tournament is underlined by a comparison of sales in 2009, the year before the event, in which football licensed toy sales increased by £15m—from £3.7m in 2009 to £18.5m in 2010.