UK toy market sees 8% sales growth for Q1 2016

Billy Langsworthy

By Billy Langsworthy

April 26th 2016 at 10:30AM
UPDATED April 29th 2016 at 10:48AM
UK toy market sees 8% sales growth for Q1 2016

UK remains the largest toy market in Europe, with Star Wars and LEGO Star Wars the best performing properties.

The NPD Group has revealed that UK toy sales for the first quarter of 2016 are up by eight per cent.

Having registered an eight per cent growth in value since the beginning of the year to April 9th, the sector is enjoying strong sales performance. 

The action figures and plush categories leads that growth, and are up 16 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.

With almost 54 million toys sold since the beginning of the year, the UK is keeping a firm hold on its leading position as the largest toy market in Europe.

Star Wars has enjoyed a 249 per cent increase in the last three months compared to the same time a year ago with over 2.1 million toys sold.

Star Wars and LEGO Star Wars were the top properties during the first quarter of 2016 followed by Shopkins, Disney Frozen and Lego City.     

“If you isolate the Star Wars effect and look only at sales unrelated to the film, the UK still shows a three per cent growth," said Frédérique Tutt, toys global industry analyst, The NPD Group.

"This highlights just how buoyant and dynamic the UK toys sector is at the moment. Of the 50 best-sellers in the UK since January this year, 19 are new products.”

Paw Patrol, LEGO Nexo Knights, Teletubbies and Tsum Tsum were some of the top growth properties in Q1 2016 while Batman v Superman release generated excitement on the super-hero front.

Collectables continue to boost the market. With four products featuring in the top ten sellers since January, Shopkins has seen sales more than double in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

Finally, with football related toys sales currently up by 44 per cent compared to the same period in 2014, the UEFA Euro 2016 has been highly anticipated in the toys sector.

The official Euro 2016 Panini album was launched mid-March and the Topps Match Attax pack of 16 football cards already features in the top 10 sellers in the first quarter of the year.

“With the combination of the Star Wars legacy, the dynamism of licensing and collectables such as Shopkins, Tsum Tsum, and the LEGO figurines, the UK market is poised for a strong second quarter," added Tutt.

"Euro 2016 is already starting to make an impact two months ahead of the start of the competition so we are confident growth is also on – and in - the cards.”