Top licensed toy properties, based on NPD's reported total revenue sales, included Ben 10, LEGO City, Star Wars, Thomas & Friends and Transformers. In Q1, licensed toys represented 25 percent in total industry sales, compared to 31 percent last year.
"The current growth in the U.K. toy market is very welcomed following a difficult year in 2009 with the closure of Woolworths together with the economic conditions," says Jez Fraser-Hook, U.K. toys director at The NPD Group. "The remaining retailers continue to benefit while a number of manufacturers are starting to see a turnaround of fortunes, contributing to a very strong start to the year."
High category performers included building sets at 65 percent and plush at 77 percent. Meanwhile, declines were posted for youth electronics
"The play value and increased offering from the building sets category has seen this category go from strength to strength, even through the recession; while for the plush category new and interesting items are the key drivers to success, with Waybuloo and Zhu Zhu Pets being two examples," says Fraser-Hook. "However, for some categories, such as youth electronics, the trend of children moving into video games at an earlier age has impacted sales in recent times."
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