This summer’s heatwave provided a boost for outdoor toy suppliers and Sam Giltrow looks ahead to what’s new in the category.
This year’s scorching temperatures sparked a surge in the sales of everything outdoor, from family paddling pools to garden toys, as families soaked up the rays in gardens across the UK. Many retailers, especially those in busy seaside resorts, reported booming sales and suppliers too were equally happy with the extra trade from the warmer weather.
Andy Griffin, marketing director for Reydon Sports, which distributes a wide range of outdoor toys such as Nerf and Swingball, tells Sam how its offering into the toy retail sector has expanded in the past year, with the company now distributing over 7,000 SKUs based around activity and sport.
David Mordecai, CEO of One For Fun, reports that one particular growth area was skateboards, which David attributes to the rising popularity of skateboarding, fuelled by Team GB’s success at last year’s Tokyo Olympics. This success has led to development in the category, and he says he is particularly excited about its new Mirror finish range of boards from Ozzbozz.
MV Sports & Leisure says licensed ranges within its wheeled and outdoor ranges have been increasingly popular this year and managing director Phil Ratcliffe tells Sam how it’s the evergreen properties which have been performing well, such as Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig and Spider-Man.
Looking to the year ahead, he says: “Notwithstanding our unparalleled line up of classic licences, the toy market is notoriously trend led, and we have supplemented our portfolio of classic licences with the latest hot and in demand properties such as Bluey and Encanto.”
Wilton Bradley prides itself on launching innovative products which provide a point of difference. Its line-up of new launches for 2023 includes the Zootz Bumper Car and Bubble-Go Scooter. “The market remains strong and, despite increased competition, there’s a place for unique products to enter and succeed,” comments design director Scott Eden.
This summer also boosted HTI Toys’ licensed ranges of kids’ patio furniture, and marketing manager Nancy Fielden tells us the company’s scooters and wheeled products continue to perform way beyond expectations. Research for its Evo range identified the popularity of characterisation and light-up features, so the new AW23 products have been designed with this in mind.
To find out more about what outdoor toy suppliers have in store for the year ahead, read the full feature in the November issue of Toy World here.