U.K. Toy Fair took place in London last week, with top toymakers from around world presenting a new offerings and brands.
Among the big news to come from the show was LEGO’s plans to offer exclusives with reatilers Toys ‘R’ Us, Argos and Tesco, for the upcoming The LEGO Movie. Each retailer will get its own dedicated SKUs, complete with an exclusive character.
Also announced at the show were deals that will see Ravensburger launch new puzzles in 2014 based on “In The Night Garden” and “The Gruffalo,” Character Options introducing a new range of Disney Princess Palace Pets and Golden Bear launching a new range of Chatty Bugbies, based on CBeebies’ yellow bug mascots.
Speaking at the opening of the show, Frederique Tutt, global toy industry analyst for the NPD Group reported that although still Europe’s largest toy market, the U.K. saw a decline of 1 percent in the toy sector in 2013 compared with 2012, recording a total value of £2.9 billion for the year.
However, these figures underscore a number of trends, the most significant of which was a 12 percent fall in the sale of toys priced £5 and under. “These pocket money toys represent almost 45 percent of all unit sales, and so this decline has a significant impact,” says Tutt.
Speaking to License! Global after her presentation, Tutt attributed some of the decline in the pocket money sector to the increase in online shopping, which, in 2013, accounted for 34 percent of all UK toy sales. “When shopping online, people are not as susceptible to the impulse purchase, especially at checkout, as they are when shopping in store.”
On a positive note, the NPD also predicting that toy sales will even out and increase 1 percent this, driven by a number of upcoming events including the FIFA World Cup and several big box-office movies. Click here for more on NPD’s 2014 predications for the U.K. toy sector.
Here are some other top headlines from this year’s U.K. Toy Fair: