NEWS

UK toy industry going for gold in 2012

Published on: 25th June 2012

With the London 2012 Olympics firmly in its sights, toy market analysts NPD Group estimate that the UK toy market could also be going for gold this Summer.

The Summer bonanza is predicted as millions of tourists are expected to flock into the country and British consumers buy toys to commemorate a once-in-a-lifetime experience of a British Olympic Games.

Despite the latest market data from NPD Group showing that the value of the UK retail toy market for both grocers and toy shops dropped by 1% last year (from £457m to £451m), experts at NPD Group believe that if consumers spend just 2% of the £1bn expected to be spent on souvenirs and mementos of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee on toys, the two big events could deliver a 4% boost to the toy market between May and August. As a result, expectations for the summer are resolutely positive – and there’s clearly a strong Olympic theme to what NPD Group expects to be some of this Summer’s best sellers.

Notable toys include the London 2012 Olympics Monopoly board game from Hasbro, and Hornby’s Team GB Velodrome cycling toy. Corgi is offering consumers a slice of nostalgia, with a 1:64 scale die cast model of London’s iconic red Routemaster bus and a whole array of London taxi replicas. On the softer side, London 2012 Olympic Games mascots Mandeville and Wenlock, from manufacturers Golden Bear, are retailing in a twin pack.

Commenting on the prospects for the UK toy market this summer, Frédérique Tutt, European analyst for NPD Group, said: “Even in a recession, it is rare for the toy market to decline, so a one per cent drop over the last four months indicates what a tough time it has been for consumers. However, after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the European football championships, we expect the London 2012 Olympics to deliver a significant boost to the UK toy market.

“The Olympics has already brought new characters to the soft toy and games market as well as providing a springboard for manufacturers to develop their own themed ranges. Combined with the usual raft of blockbuster movies due for release, we expect this to deliver a strong boost to the UK toy market, which is already the biggest toy market in Europe. And with millions of spectators and holiday makers in London for the Games, many retailers also hope that a good proportion will be attracted into toy shops while they are here enjoying the capital.”

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