FEATURE: It's Toy Time

Toy fair season culminates in New York City with an impressive slate of licensed merchandise on display.

April 6, 2018

2 Min Read

Toy fair season culminates in New York City with an impressive slate of licensed merchandise on display.

Click here to read the full article.

It may be winter at the toy fairs in Hong Kong, London, Nuremberg and New York City, but the toy market, particularly for licensed properties, is heating up. License! Global has taken a look at the offerings at the fairs around the world and rounded up the highlights.

The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, organized by the HKTDC, kicked off toy fair season Jan. 12-15; London's Toy Fair, put on by the British Toy and Hobby Association, took place Jan. 20-22; while Spielwarenmesse, Nuremberg, Germany's event, bowed Jan. 28-Feb. 2; and New York's International Toy Fair 2015, hosted by the Toy Industry Association, is kicking off Feb. 14. But each of these prove one thing: licenses are remaining a toy business standard.

According to data from The NPD Group, the U.S. toy industry generated $18.08 billion last year in retail sales, up 4 percent from 2013 ($17.46 billion). Of that, licensed toys represented 31 percent of industry sales and grew 7 percent in 2014. That data is no surprise–the 10 best-selling traditional toys in the market last year, says NPD, are comprised of several licensed properties and include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures (Nickelodeon/Playmates Toys), My First Disney Princess Snow Glow Elsa (Disney/Jakks Pacific) and the Disney Frozen Sparkle doll assortment (Disney/Mattel).

Disney's Frozen property was a hot commodity last year, capturing the top spot overall in licensed toy retail sales, generating $531 million overall (source: NPD).

"Frozen was the big news story in the toy industry in 2014," says Juli Lennett, president, toys division, The NPD Group. "It wasn't due to that one hot toy that was a category killer, but because of the varied breadth and sheer number of toys. Frozen had over 300 different items on store shelves this year."

On the North American International Toy Fair show floor in New York City, many of these licenses are prevailing.


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