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Market Research


World Cup Mania Kicks Off in the UK Toy Market

According to the NPD group, sales for football licensed toys are rising


Sales of World Cup themed toys have been growing since the start of the year, with one toy out of every nine sold (or over 9.1 million toys) linked to the competition. However, weekly figures for May show that World Cup mania really kicked off last month. More than one quarter (27%) of all toys sold in the week commencing May 11th were related to the tournament. The best-selling toy that week was the Panini’s World Cup Brazil Official sticker album. Two other items in the top 15 directly linked to the competition were also collectibles – Panini’s World Cup Blister pack of 50 stickers and Match Attax England trading cards.

Sticker mania takes hold
Stickers and cards epitomise World Cup mania in the UK, representing 93% of all toys merchandise linked to the event. Although they are aimed at 6-10 year olds, they appeal to a much wider age range, with young adults and dads embracing the craze.

“World Cup sticker mania is a real opportunity for the trade and grocers in particular, which is where most (75%) stickers are sold. Usually these shops account for only 29% of toys sales.” says Frédérique Tutt, Toy Global Industry Analyst at The NPD Group. “With their attractive pocket money prices the sticker packs are the perfect item mums or dads will add to their trolley whilst doing the weekly shop. Without World Cup-related purchases grocers’ toy sales would actually be 3% down on last year at mid may instead of holding flat. And more generally speaking, this impulse boost is extremely welcome by the industry and responsible for a third of the market growth to date as the UK toy industry posts a strong 4.6% value growth year to date to 17th May.”

Biggest football licensed toys market
Regardless of events on the pitch, the UK topped the World Cup toy sales table in 2010, selling more toys linked to the tournament than any of the four big European markets. NPD Group figures show that World Cup toy sales reached £18.5m in Britain compared to £8m in Germany in the year of the last tournament. The value of the World Cup is underlined by a comparison of sales in 2009, the year before the event: football licensed toys sales increased by £15m - from £3.7m in 2009 to £18.5m in 2010.

Top UK toy sellers – week 11th -17th May 2014
1 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Official Album Stickers (Panini)
2 LEGO Minifigures (LEGO)
3 Cra-Z-Loom Bracelet Maker (Character Options)
4 All Surface Swingball (Mookie Toys)
5 Chill Factor Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker (Character Options)
6 LEGO Star Wars Vehicles 2014 (LEGO)
7 LEGO Star Wars 2014 (LEGO)
8 Blister 50 Stickers World Cup Brazil (Panini)
9 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary (MGA Entertainment)
10 Leappad Explorer Tablet (Leapfrog)
11 Hot Wheels Basic Cars (Mattel)
12 Match Attax England 2014 Trading Cards (Topps)
13 Innotab (Vtech)
14 Cars 2 Characters (Mattel)
15 Nerf N' Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster (Hasbro)

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