To combat the economic struggle, retailers strive to make toy purchasing as accessible as possible all year round, with the average selling price of a toy now at £10.54. However, in 2022, consumers increasingly favored toys that cost between £30 and £50 suggesting that people were making more considered purchases.
“The U.K. toy industry has continued to deliver toys and games for consumers at affordable prices during 2022 amongst high levels of inflation and a cost-of-living crisis,” says Kerri Atherton, head, public affairs, British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA).
Watch: License Global at London Toy Fair 2023
Licensed toys grew for the fourth consecutive year, up by 5.5%, now accounting for 31% of the market – the highest-ever share.
According to NPD, the most in-demand licensed properties continue to be “Pokemon,” “Star Wars,” Barbie, Marvel Universe, Squishmallows, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, NFL, LEGO “Star Wars” and “Jurassic World” and that was evident from walking the show floor, while “Gabby’s Doll House” is currently one of the fastest growing properties.
“New licensed properties like “Gabby’s Doll House” and classics like “Star Wars” drove major sales throughout 2022,” says Melissa Symonds, executive director, U.K. toys, The NPD Group. “With
Disney celebrating its 100th anniversary
and movie releases such as Barbie, Transformers, and Super Mario, 2023 looks set to be another good year for licensed toys, an instrumental part of the U.K. toy industry.”
The launch of “Jurassic World Dominion” in June really made 2022 the year of the dinosaurs, tapping into the nostalgia element with fans of the earlier movies in the franchise, while also bringing a new, younger section of fans. Nostalgia was a common thread on the show floor with several of BTHA’s Top-25 Hero Toys, announced at the show, being based on characters who reigned during the ’80s like Elmo, Barbie, Sylvanian Families and Wallace and Gromit.
“We know that parents, grandparents and carers love passing on traditions to their children and purchasing toys that remind them of their childhood, such as the Care Bears Dare to Care and the Build Your Own Wallace & Gromit Rocket, both Hero Toys,” says Rebecca Deeming, communications and events manager, BTHA. “We expect to see this trend continue in the next year, with the nostalgic trend clearly popular with consumers.”
"Super Mario Bros. Movie" trailer
was released in October creating quite a buzz, while Nickelodeon and Paramount are set to mark the 10th anniversary of “PAW Patrol” with a movie sequel, “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” due for release in October.
The newest “Trolls” movie, is coming to theaters in November and you only have to search for
on social media to see the sense of anticipation of the forthcoming live-action Barbie movie.
Return to In-Store Purchasing
Data from The NPD Group suggests
left their purchases until the last minute, with 2022 week 51 results up 15% from the previous year. The increase could be attributed to customer expectations of potential issues with home delivery, which meant high street toy and game retailers enjoyed an uplift of in-store sales during Q4. In-store purchases increased throughout the year with offline sales accounting for 51% of the U.K. toy market, an increase of 6% from 2021. Online sales are still ahead of where they were before the pandemic, when online sales accounted for just 35% of the market.
“In 2022, we saw consumers returning to make more purchases in-store during the year,” says Symonds. “Consumers are increasingly choosing to shop with specialist toy stores, which saw an uplift of 16% in sales, with consumers seeking out large product ranges offering choice and value.”
As License Global explored in a recent article
looking at how licensing can make toys more accessible for children
, STEM toys are only going to go from strength to strength. LEGO is just one company doing great work in this space, through its Brick-by-Brick play therapy program.
The changing sensory needs of children could also be a factor in the growth in plush toys, enabling kids to go to bed with their favorite characters, their best friends, around them.
Following the announcement last week that All3Media International and Identity Games are to distribute the
official “The Traitors” Board Game
to the U.K. and Eire, cast members from the series drew a crowd on the Vivid Goliath stand.
Ravensburger used the opening day of Toy Fair to announce the launch of a Disney Labyrinth 100th Anniversary version of its “Labyrinth” game, while the Marvel “Villainous Twisted Ambitions” Expandalone game is set to launch in spring.
Toy Fair 2023 is taking place now through Jan. 26 at Olympia London. If you are attending this week,
read about what you can expect
, in License Global's interview with Rebecca Deeming.
To read further insight, visit License Global’s
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