A summer of blockbuster movies and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, a strengthening economy, consumer confidence reported to be back to 2010 levels and an influx of innovative new products will all play a part in helping the toy sector achieve growth in 2014, according to a new forecast commissioned by the British Toy and Hobby Association.
Following the reported 1% decline in 2013, the BTHA report from The NPD Group forecasts a turnaround for 2014 and a moderate return to growth. The NPD Group predicts an increase of around 1% in value for the UK toy industry bringing sales back in line with 2012 and recovering the loss seen in 2013. Growth is expected to be particularly strong within the Building Sets and Action Figure sectors, with a 10% increase predicated for the latter. The growth in 2014 will be propelled by four main factors; movie merchandising, the FIFA World Cup, tech toys and, importantly, pocket money toys.
Big studio film licences are expected to generate significant movement in the market with UK specific properties like Postman Pat and Peter Rabbit joining global IPs like Spider-Man, Transformers 4, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and LEGO to drive a £36m increase in movie related products for 2014.
In 2010, the UK toy industry benefited from an additional £14m of sales thanks to the FIFA World Cup. The BTHA forecast estimates similar, or greater, revenues can be expected from the 2014 competition.
Technology played a major role within the top toy lists in 2013 and this is expected to continue into 2014 with augmented reality technology a driving force behind this growth.
45% of UK toy sales by volume are in the £5 and under category. It is expected that this part of the market will see an increase as economic confidence returns across the country and pocket money allowances are restored or increased. New collectables are expected to be launched within this sector and products connected to the FIFA World Cup in the summer will also drive momentum.
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