Exclusive: Licensed toys are thriving says Circana

Published on: 21st September 2023

Although many have found sales challenging over the early summer months, Rory Partis from Circana highlights a bright spot in the market with licensed toy ranges.

Licensed merchandise continues to play a significant part in the toy market across Europe and has recently seen a boost in sales from big summer movie releases. Across the EU5, licensing makes up around 27% of sales; in 2019 this was only 23%, so there has been an impressive gain of around four percentage points for licensed toys over the last few years. There are differences by country, but also similarities too; the countries with the most heavily licensed market share are Spain and the United Kingdom, whereas France is the least with 25% in 2023.

Licensed toy sales are ahead of the total market trend in every country, with the top growth in licensing currently coming from the UK with a +4% trend in a toy market that is currently down -4% at a total level. There are three countries with a positive trend for licensing: the UK, Spain and France. In Germany, while licensing is declining by -2%, this is still well ahead of the overall market trend of -5%. Looking across the countries there are some consistencies, and the continued success of Pokémon across Europe is the most notable. The rise in sales of Pokémon has been impressive, with the property growing from around €185m in 2019 to €478m in 2022. The performance is consistent across Europe; the property is Top 5 across most countries. Other licences that are growing across EU5 include Star Wars with +7% growth, Super Mario Bros with +19% growth and Disney Princess growing by +22%.

To read more reasons for licensing growth such as movies and sporting events, as well as the top 10 fastest growing subclasses, view the whole article here.


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