Early Christmas shopping sees November toy sales rise in latest NPD report

Published on: 8th December 2020

Year-to-date to the end of November 2020, toy industry sales in the UK are up 8% in value with the month of November posting a sales hike of 11% year-on-year.

In 2020 Brits of all ages turned to toys to help occupy the long weeks of lockdown. From entertainment to education, crafting to creating, to simply playing outside, the sector has proved its worth during the Covid-19 restrictions. Year-to-date (YTD) to the end of November 2020, toy industry sales in the UK are up 8% in value, with the month of November posting a sales hike of 11% year-on-year as shoppers bought early for Christmas.

The top 10 selling toys in the UK in November 2020 by value were as follows:

  • Barbie Dreamhouse (Mattel) £233
  • L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Remix Doll (MGA Entertainment) £39
  • Harry Potter Advent Calendar (The Lego Group) £21
  • Hatchimals Pixies Crystal Flyers Magical Flying Pixie (Spin Master) £32
  • Kidizoom Duo Digital Camera (VTech) £42
  • L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Doll (MGA Entertainment) £32
  • Harry Potter Hedwig (The Lego Group) £31
  • Super Mario Brothers Adventures Starter Course (The Lego Group) £42
  • Present Pets Fancy Pup Surprise (Spin Master) £53
  • Kidizoom Smart Watch DX2 (VTech) £39

(Source: The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service)

The festive period is an essential time for the toy sector, accounting for 31% of annual sales, which equates to £1b in revenue. As we approach the big day, Frédérique Tutt, global toy market expert for The NPD Group expects three categories to dominate sales: “Games & Puzzles are seeing a strong year, with sales up 31% YTD and family favourites Monopoly, Uno and Dobble selling well. Building Sets have also enjoyed strong growth among kids and ‘kidults’, posting a 25% increase YTD. The Harry Potter and Super Mario ranges from Lego will likely be big hits this Christmas. Finally, Fashion Dolls are enjoying a comeback – expect to see Barbie & L.O.L. Surprise! under the Christmas tree.”

The NPD Group has analysed the top selling toys since the start of the last decade in 2010. The list is a mix of games, fashion dolls, interactive toys, licences and collectibles sold at all price points, from pocket money to more considered purchases:

  • 2010 Kidizoom Camera (Vtech)
  • 2011 Minifigures (The Lego Group)
  • 2012 LeapPad Explorer Tablet (Leapfrog)
  • 2013 Furby Boom (Hasbro)
  • 2014 Disney Frozen Sparkle Dolls Elsa (Mattel)
  • 2015 Shopkins Pack of 12 (Flair Preziosi Group)
  • 2016 Pie Face Game (Hasbro)
  • 2017 L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls (MGA Entertainment)
  • 2018 L.O.L. Surprise! Pets Blind Pack (MGA Entertainment)
  • 2019 L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls (MGA Entertainment)

(Source: The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service)

Frédérique added: “There’s a cornucopia of toy styles in the list of the best-sellers of the last decade, and that reflects the trends, educational needs and films of the 2010s. Who can forget the rush to get hold of a Furby Boom in 2013, or the craze for Pie Face in 2016 as celebs and families got covered in foam? Interactivity played a big part too, as manufacturers embraced technology in cameras, tablets and plush. MGA Entertainment hit gold with the unboxing trend personified in the L.O.L Surprise! phenomenon that is still on Christmas lists everywhere. It’s going to be a fierce fought contest this year to see which toy comes out on top and kicks off the 20s decade.”


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