Exclusive: Spring into summer – a look at Outdoor Toys

Published on: 11th March 2021

Toy World looks at the factors and trends driving sales this year and speaks to a selection of Outdoor Toys specialists about the category.

Outdoor Toys fared astonishingly well during the lockdowns and travel restrictions of 2020, and, coming into 2021, it looks like we may see a repeat performance of that success.

As we move into spring, attention is already firmly on the warmer months following the latest lockdown and what has felt like a very (very) long winter. Experts in child development are calling on the government to support a ‘summer of play’ -primarily physical outdoor play – to help kids recover from the stress of lockdown and a year of Covid upheaval. On top of this, holidaymakers are increasingly being urged to stay in Britain for their break this year. For the Outdoor Toys category, it’s a recipe for success, and there’s a raft of companies poised to help kids get outdoors, get fit and get happy in a way that supports their interests in a healthy and fun way.

Rachael Simpson-Jones looks at how the category entered 2021 on the back of +15% UK growth in 2020 and continues to add value to the market. So far this year, the latest NPD figures for every subsector in the category are extremely encouraging.

There’s certainly plenty of innovation within this category for this year, from new scooters, both electric and kid-powered, to new introductions in ride-ons and push along vehicles, as well as a whole raft of products to kit out back gardens as exciting play spaces, with suppliers offering everything from trampolines and swings sets, to playhouses and sandpits. It’s a big year for football; Euro 2021, the Women’s FA Cup final and the Champions League final are all on the calendar, which is expected to drive demand for product.

And it’s not just large outdoor toy items; with the likelihood that British gardens will be playing host to even more parties and get-togethers this summer, retailers can expect increased demand for outdoor games and activities that the whole family can enjoy together.

Retailers are being urged to finalise their orders early. Paul Reader, marketing director at Toymaster, says the group’s members are being encouraged to secure stock as soon as they can, especially on the likes of paddling pools; three key Toymaster suppliers have already warned that there will be a shortage of these this year.

With comment from suppliers including Ross Bradley of Wilton Bradley, Nat Southworth of KAP Toys, Adam Pearson of Geemac, Martin Whitaker of Simba Smoby Toys UK and David Harms of Spin Master, the article also explores how many companies are now working with influencers and social channels to raise awareness of the sector’s leading brands and drive consumers to retail. Backed by traditional marketing and PR support, ranges will be promoted so that retail partnerships can make the most of what is sure to be a strong category this year.

To read the full article, which appeared in the March edition of Toy World, click here.

Following the article, Toy World brings you the latest outdoor toys product information from a range of leading suppliers.


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