Toy World spoke to independent toy retailers about trading during the October half term.
The number of visits to non-food stores in the UK during half term week climbed by 18.3% on the previous week, according to the Ispos Retail Performance Blog, and toy shops were a part of the action.
Nigel Kemp, owner, Halesworth Toy Shop, told Toy World: “Half term is always busy for us, and sales do increase. Our half term best-sellers this year were Shopkins, My Little Pony and Lego Minifigures.”
Kirit Kumar, owner of Cuthberts Toys, Hertfordshire, explained that regular customers and families used the week to do some early Christmas shopping.
He added: “Shopkins and Lego did particularly well throughout half term, as did the pocket money range.”
Helen Gourley, company director of Toy Hub, Dunblane, offered a slightly different opinion on the week, saying that she was actually busier just before the schools broke up.
She said: “We find that locals may be away for their holidays during half term and we have a surge of travel products selling just before they break up. This includes Tenzi, Dobble and colouring books and pens. At this time of year we also get lots of people browsing for presents, but not necessarily buying until the kids are back at school, so it’s important to have the Christmas lines ready for them to view. They do, however, treat them to little pocket money gifts. We did particularly well with Diablos this year, as kids helped to spread the craze over the holidays through their childcare groups. Plop Trumps and Squeeze Poppers from Cheatwell Games have also just been flying out.”
Lisa Penn-Bourtin, co-director and co-owner of Fergus and Foggs Toy Emporium, agreed with Helen, saying: “The two weeks at the beginning of October were well above average with a 41% and 33% increase in sales.”