Exclusive: Crafty ideas – a look at the arts & crafts sector

Published on: 4th June 2021

Sam Giltrow speaks to leading players in the sector to find out if the recent popularity of arts & crafts can continue.

Whether it’s painting, sticking, colouring, or constructing, the arts & crafts category has seen a huge surge in popularity in the past year as we seek to while away the hours stuck at home during lockdown restrictions. With many parents working from home and kids off school, there has been a turn towards activities which keep youngsters off their screens and busy with minimal supervision, while recognising the importance of quiet time and encouraging learning through play.

Sales of such products have skyrocketed, and toy companies and retailers alike are now hoping the momentum can be maintained as we head towards the summer holidays with the likelihood that many families will opt for a staycation.

On the supplier side, Damien Collett of SES Creative, Jade Childs of Crayola/Vivid, Mary Wood of Tomy, Anthony Grimaud of Canal Toys UK, Phil Hooper of Spin Master and Meriç Pekcan Butcher of PlayMonster UK shared what has been selling and how they expect the category to develop as we move through 2021.

As Damien Collett explains, “New products are vital as it is important that there is always something new and interesting for children to do and discover.”

Retailers will also be hoping the arts & crafts popularity continues, having enjoyed a surge in sales during the pandemic, and Ian Melville of Bright Star Toys in Linlithgow, and Brendan Will of Will’s Toy Shop told us what items have enjoyed strong sales in their stores.

As well as providing a worthwhile activity, with a tangible and hopefully satisfying result, many retailers rely on arts & crafts products as steady sellers as they offer ideal price points for treats and gifting. A well-stocked selection can bring in repeat customers, evening out summer sales when the weather is unsuitable for outdoor toys. Some inventive retailers even encourage kids to share their creations, bringing them into store or posting them on social media, fostering a relationship with their customer base and encouraging repeat purchases. The pride achieved by creating something new is a feeling crafters are often keen to experience again and again.


To read the full article, which appeared in the June issue of Toy World, click here.

The article is followed by a round up of the latest products available to stock arts & crafts sections in store.


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