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UK TOY INDUSTRY GREW BY 5.9 PERCENT MAKING IT THE LARGEST TOY MARKET IN EUROPE

Press Release   •   Jan 25, 2016 09:00 GMT

Figures revealed at Toy Fair 2016 show a significant rise in sales across categories with film licences playing a major role

January 25th 2016: The UK toy market saw a 5.9% increase in sales in 2015, helping to keep it in the top spot as the largest toy market in Europe. The latest results were released today by the British Toy and Hobby Association and The NPD Group at this year’s Toy Fair at Olympia, London.

The British toy industry is now valued at £3.2 billion, according to The NPD Group, an increase of £150 million year-on-year. Innovative ideas resulted in more than 58,000 new toys being launched in 2015, equating to 31% of UK toy sales or £1 billion at retail.

Growth was driven partly by 2015 being a vintage year for strong film licenses with Minions, Avengers, Jurassic World and Star Wars all playing their part. In fact, last year saw the global cinema box office revenue break the £26.8 billion1mark, making 2015 the highest earning year in movie history2. This box office success drove movie-related toy sales up 27% (+89% since 2013). The increase also includes the seemingly never ending success of Frozen which made it the number one toy licence again in 2015.

On average last year 38 toys per child were purchased, with 11 of these being Christmas gifts and stocking fillers so it is unsurprising that December proved to be, as ever, a massive month for toys, accounting for 26% of annual sales. Some retailers reported late buying patterns with shoppers leaving purchases until the last minute. This resulted in a few shortages of popular toys as it becomes ever harder to predict stock level as Christmas shopping patterns change.

The strongest sectors for growth in 2015 were action figures (up 20%), building sets (up 14%) and plush (up 14%). The best-selling toy in the UK in 2015 was LEGO’s Mini Figures.

“What a great year 2015 was for the UK toy industry. Some highly creative partnerships with major film properties were a significant driver of growth, but so too was the resurgence of traditional toys such as building sets and plush. It’s fantastic to see the innovation of the industry resulting in market growth and with more than a third of last year’s value driven by new product launches it goes to show how much our industry reinvents itself each year to keep toys and games interesting to children and families. Toy Fair is the perfect place to see all types of toys together under one roof and to start the process of picking the winners for 2016”, commented Natasha Crookes, Director of Public Affairs and Communications at the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA).

Frederique Tutt, Global Toy Industry Analyst at The NPD Group, added: “What is interesting about the 2015 performance is the lasting endurance of traditional toys such as building sets and action figures. It’s also great to see the variety in the toy industry where a fun game like Pie Face went viral on the internet, alongside the increasing popularity of traditional collectables and the launch of exciting new toys from the movies –which included some of the best-sellers of the year.”

-END-

Notes to editors:

Top 10 selling toys in 2015 in the UK (£ Sterling Sales)
RANKMANUFACTURERTOY
1LEGOLEGO MINIFIGURES
2FLAIR PREZIOSISHOPKINS 2 PACK
3LEGO GROUPDISNEY FROZEN ELSA SPARKLING ICE CASTLE
4HASBROPIE FACE GAME
5MOOKIE TOYSSMART TRIKE 4 IN 1 TRIKE
6JAKKS PACIFICDISNEY FROZEN SING ALONG WITH ELSA
7FLAIR PREZIOSISHOPKINS PACK OF 12
8HASBRONERF N STRIKE ELITE MODULUS BLASTER
9MATTELHOT WHEELS BASIC CARS
10LEGOSTAR WARS MILLENIUM FALCON
Source: The NPD Group | Retail tracking service

1 Converted from US dollars $38billion to Sterling
2 According to Rentrak

Toy Fair 2016 is the UK’s only toy, game and hobby trade event taking place at London’s Olympia from 24-26 January 2016.
Press Day is Monday 25th January.

For more information:
Press office; 020 7598 6514
Ravi Vijh; 07753 229 236
toyfair@bastion.co.uk

Frederique Tutt, Global Toy Industry Analyst – The NPD Group - T: +33 (0)6 30 44 68 24 frederique.tutt@npd.com
Stuart Ridsdale T: + 44 (0)7790 951229stuart@greenfieldscommunications.com
Lucy Green T: +44 7817 698366 lucy@greenfieldscommunications.com
About the BTHA
The British Toy & Hobby Association was established in 1944 to represent the interests of British toy manufacturers and to raise standards of practice in the industry. Today it has around 140 members ranging from international toy giants to small family-run businesses that together account for over 90% of the UK toy market. Membership of the British Toy & Hobby Association shows the member’s commitment to adhere to the BTHA Code of Practice under the umbrella of the Lion Mark which includes rules covering ethical and safe manufacture of toys, toy safety, a ban on counterfeit goods, an assurance to market responsibly, a commitment to improving sustainability and a desire to promote the value of all play through support of the Make Time 2 Play campaign. Our members are manufacturers committed to making good quality toys in a responsible way. The BTHA also administers the Toy Trust - the industry’s charity.

About Toy Fair
Toy Fair is the only dedicated toy, game and hobby exhibition in the UK. Toy Fair is 63 years old in 2016 with more than 260 exhibiting companies - ranging from the large internationals to the new start-up companies - showcasing thousands of brand new toys, games and hobbies to the UK’s largest gathering of toy industry professionals. Toy Fair provides visitors with a real insight into a fun, innovative and exciting industry, as well as a great opportunity to touch, feel and experiment with the products of the future. The exhibition is a showcase, a networking opportunity and an ideal event to do great business in an exciting environment.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food / foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games.
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