Market research company The NPD Group has found that traditional toy sales in the US remained largely unchanged during the first half of 2010, while revenues in Europe’s five largest toy markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) were up 5%.
While strong economic pressures persist in most countries and the prospect of a consumer recovery looms, the numbers indicate that consumers have increased their spending on traditional toys in European markets.
In the US, revenue topped US $7.771 billion during the first half of this year (January to June) versus US$7.748 billion generated during the same time period last year.
Meanwhile, specific to sales performance across the five largest European toy markets during the same time period, the UK experienced 8% growth, followed by Spain (6%), Germany (4%), France (3%) and Italy (2%).
In Europe, sales for the first half of the year only represent approximately 30% of annual toy sales, but this performance is a positive indicator of a good peak season to come.
For the first half of this year, NPD EuroToys has noticed sales of outdoor and sports toys partially driving this growth. Consumer reaction to the dry weather experienced throughout Europe in June has had a positive impact on the industry, since sales of products within this category are largely weather-dependent. Another good indication of a general recovery within the industry is the continued popularity of toys based on properties such as Bakugan and Star Wars.
According to NPD EuroToys, analysts anticipate continued growth coming from one of this year’s most successful animated films, Toy Story 3. Year-to-date (January to June), Europe’s five largest toy markets show Star Wars as the number one license for traditional toys, with Toy Story being the year’s fastest growing license.