Angry Birds Star Wars revealed as best new toy licence

Published on: 18th October 2013

Latest data from The NPD Group has revealed Angry Birds Star Wars as the best new toy licence in the big five European toy markets in 2013 so far (year-to-date July 2013).angrybirdsstarwarsnewlicenc

Sales of Angry Birds Star Wars during this period was £5.3m, ahead of second place Skylanders at £4m and third place Monsters University at £2.9m. Angry Birds Star Wars has also taken pole position as the number one licence in the board games category.

According to NPD Group data, over the first seven months of 2013, Angry Birds and Angry Birds Star Wars combined ranked as the 14th biggest licence overall in the big five European markets and 12th biggest overall in the UK. In comparison, one year ago Angry Birds alone was ranked 39th in the big five markets in Europe.

The original Angry Birds sold £4.2m worth of toys in the first seven months of 2012 across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The figure for the same seven month period in 2013 had almost doubled to £8.1m. With the Angry Birds Star Wars sales performance of £5.3m added in, in total the Angry Birds licence had achieved combined sales of £13.4m in the seven months to July 2103.

Brand extension’s impressive performance
Frederique Tutt, global toy industry analyst with The NPD Group, said: “When the Angry Birds Star Wars deal was announced, it created a huge buzz. Angry Birds, one of the biggest global digital sensations to date, was joining forces with Star Wars, possibly the biggest licence of all time, but in any case the number one toy licence of 2012 in Europe. The results are already impressive. Meanwhile, Angry Birds itself continues to do well with sales up 95%. It is rare in the licensing world to see a brand extension adding so much to the sales of the core brand.”

Digital-to-physical (and vice versa) trend all set to boost the toy licence market
NPD Group says that new developments, such as the Angry Birds Star Wars tie-up, and the licensing of digital intellectual property into the toy market, are providing a welcome boost to the toy industry. While some digital licences are successful, few extend beyond the world of apps, and even fewer become top-selling toys. As of July this year, the total licensed toy market in Europe year to date was worth £845m, down 7% on the same period a year earlier. However, the total toy market for the same period was £3.5b, up 1%.

As part of this trend, Hasbro is launching the Telepods action game based on Angry Birds Star Wars. Like Activision’s Skylanders and Disney’s Infinity, Telepods action figures integrate physical characters into the mobile gaming experience. The difference is that the game is played on a tablet rather than a video game platform.

Frederique added: “While the toy market is holding its ground, digital gaming is challenging traditional play patterns. At the same time, breaking through with licensing is more difficult than ever due in part to more caution by retailers and a narrower range of retail outlets. So the Angry Birds Star Wars tie-up and digital intellectual property transferred onto physical formats is an exciting new opportunity for the toy industry.”

Rovio Entertainment has revealed the roll-out of the all-new Angry Birds Go! franchise today, in addition to announcing partnerships to expand its product range and support its global licensing business.

Rovio’s Angry Birds Go! franchise countdown started with the reveal of the mobile gameplay, and the global app release date of December 11th, at Brand Licensing Expo in London. Angry Birds Go! will invite players of all ages to join the birds as they race downhill in karts. These new game elements will bring about additional opportunities for innovative product lines across multiple consumer products categories.

The Angry Birds Go! game will feature Hasbro’s Telepods, which players can use to teleport new karts into the game. Rovio will provide consumers an exclusive first look to the new experience via a dedicated ‘Countdown to Angry Birds Go!’ app integrated with Telepods at the end of October. Together with its key partners, Rovio will continue to develop a long-lasting brand focused on product innovation through physical and digital integration.

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