Market research firm NPD has said that licensed toy sales in the US grew by one per cent in the first quarter of 2012.
The sales added one share point of total toy industry revenue - 26 per cent of total toy sales in Q1 2011 vs 27 per cent in Q1 2012.
The top five traditional toy licences for Q1 (in alphabetical order) were Cars: The Movie, Disney Princess, Star Wars, Thomas & Friends and Toy Story - each generating anywhere from three per cent to ten per cent of total licensed product sales.
The first quarter's top five growth licences were (alphabetically) Angry Birds, Cars: The Movie, Hello Kitty & Friends, Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars.
"Licensing is an important part of the toy industry," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst at NPD Group. "The average retail selling price of a licensed toy was nearly 50 per cent larger than that of unlicensed toys in the first quarter, showing the premium a toy can generate by being associated with a child's favourite character or property."
The top five toy properties over the same time period were (in alphabetical order) Barbie, Cars: The Movie, Crayola, Hot Wheels and Star Wars. Top five growth properties included Cars: The Movie, Monster High, Lalaloopsy, LeapPad and Star Wars.
Frazier continued: "Licences tend to have very gender specific appeal. While sales of Disney Princess and Hello Kitty & Friends toys are largely made for girls, the remainder of the top licences and top growth licences in the first quarter were largely purchased for boys."