Toy World caught up with indies to discuss sales at the end of last year, which toys are trending right now and how they plan to make 2024 a successful year.
As we enter the new year, the Toy World team reached out to Bambola Toymaster, Bulstrodes in Framlingham and Toys ‘n’ Tuck in Southend-on-Sea to gather insights on their sales performance and most popular product ranges during the Christmas season. These retailers also discussed how the first quarter has been so far, what their outlook and strategies are for the year ahead, and told us more about their individual stores.
Bambola Toymaster in Jersey revealed how sales came late but finished up strongly towards the end of 2023, with the store seeing foot traffic build up in the last few days of the holiday. John Testori commented: “It wasn’t until the second to last Thursday that we really saw sales take off. We went from what was looking like a decline to a small growth, but a small growth is a good growth. Christmas foot traffic was much the same as in previous years; slow to start and really built up in the final ten days.”
Toys ‘n’ Tuck has seen success in early 2024 with the recently relaunched brand Littlest Pet Shop, which has gained huge popularity on social media platforms including TikTok. Toys ‘n’ Tuck’s director Emma Dadswell explained: “I posted about the range being in stock on Facebook and Instagram when it arrived the week after Christmas and my phone kept pinging with notifications; it was being liked and shared all over fan pages. It was wild.
“We’ve had 20-something-year-olds travelling from 50-60 miles away to get their hands on it. Some people are buying one of every pet: on the first day, we sold £800-worth, and now we’re on our fourth restock. It’s retro, it’s cute and its affordable, starting at £3.99, and I know customers are filming their own TikTok unboxings of the blind packaging because they’re tagging the store in their posts.”
Bulstrodes in Framlingham shared that although there was no standout best-seller over Christmas, brands such as Lego and Jazwares were among the most popular, leaving shelves empty by the start of the new year. Bill Bullstrode told us: “My customers cleared the shop of Lego City, Ninjago, Technic and Friends. Squishmallows also performed well – we got a large delivery from Jazwares just before Christmas and it was gone by early January – and Hot Wheels from Mattel was amazing too. Those brands are the backbone of our business.”
To read more of what these retailers had to say, click here for the full feature, which appeared in the February 2024 issue of Toy World.