Films Fuel U.K. Toy Growth

Toy sales in the U.K. have grown by 5 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the NPD Group.

April 6, 2018

2 Min Read

Biggest increases seen in action figures, youth electronics and building sets.

Toy sales in the U.K. have grown by 5 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the NPD Group.

The research firm's annual sales performance review also found nine out of the 11 "super-categories" that it tracks are also showing year-over-year growth across all age groups.

The most dynamic categories are action figures (up 27 percent), youth electronics (up 15 percent) and building sets (up 13 percent). Movies have fueled this growth, as movie-related toys experienced a 28 percent increase in sales during this time and represent 15 percent of all U.K. toy sales, compared to 12 percent last year.

With Disney's Frozen and Star Wars holding the No. 1 and No. 2 spots respectively as the top toy properties, both brands will have a large presence this holiday season.

According to NPD, driven by the launch of new products since the beginning of the year, Frozen toy merchandise has more than doubled in sales year-to-date compared to last year. 

As for Star Wars, sales have tripled since the Force Friday event on Sept. 4. The Sphero BB-8, an app-enabled droid from the upcoming movie, Star Wars: Episode VII–The Force Awakens, was the best-selling item in the U.K. during September, and the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar claimed the lead in the week ending Oct. 3.

“This year is all about innovation and brand extension more than television and technology for the U.K. toy market," says Frederique Tutt, toys global industry analyst, The NPD Group. "In this competitive retail environment, the winners this Christmas will be new toys coming from attractive brands, that offer authentic play value. Frozen and Star Wars aside, there are a number of brands performing well, including Shopkins, Little Life Pets, 'Paw Patrol,' Toot Toot, LEGO, Nerf, Play Doh and 'Thunderbirds.'"

Top 10 Best-Selling Toys (Week 40, up to Oct. 3), Great Britain

  • Star Wars advent calendar, LEGO

  • LEGO minifigures, LEGO

  • Pie Face game, Hasbro

  • Nerf N Strike Elite Modulus Blaster, Hasbro

  • Bright Beats Dance and Move BeatBo, Mattel

  • Match Attax 2015-16 trading cards, Topps

  • Shopkins 2-pack, Flair Preziosi

  • Star Wars Millenium Falcon, LEGO

  • Shopkins fashion deluxe packs, Flair Preziosi

  • Shopkins pack of 12, Flair Preziosi

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