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BHTA and NPD expect the toy market to grow in 2014

Thanks to licensing, the FIFA World Cup, technology and pocket money toys

  • Key4Communications

A summer of blockbuster movies, the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, strengthening economic conditions, consumer confidence and an influx of innovative new product could all help the toy industry to grow in 2014, according to a NPD report commissioned by the British Toy and Hobby Association.

Following the 1% decline in the UK toy sector in 2013, the report expects a moderate return to growth that could reach 1%. Growth is expected to be particularly strong within the building sets and action figure sectors, with a 10% increase predicated for the latter.

Natasha Crookes, director of communications, the BTHA, explains that “whilst it’s too complex a market to be making any claims about 2014 being a vintage year for the U.K. toy sector, the forecast shows there are a number of factors in place to suggest a stronger year than 2013. Great years need to have brilliant toys, but they also need to have significant external factors to drive momentum, and 2014 has a number of those drivers in place to make it a more positive year.”

These main factors that could help the toy industry would be:

1. Movie merchandising. Big studio film licenses are expected to generate significant movement in the market with UK specific properties like Postman Pat and Peter Rabbit joining global IPs including Spider-Man, Transformers 4, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and LEGO to drive a £36 million increase in movie related products for 2014.

2. FIFA World Cup 2014. In 2010, the UK toy industry benefited from an additional £14 million of sales thanks to the FIFA World Cup. The BTHA forecast estimates similar, or greater, revenues coming from the 2014 competition.

3. Techno toys. Technology played a major role within the top toy lists in 2013, and this is expected to continue into 2014 with augmented reality technology a driving force behind this growth.

4. Pocket money toys. Almost half (45%) of UK toy sales by volume are in the £5 and under category. It is expected that this part of the market will see an increase as economic confidence returns across the country and pocket money allowances are restored or increased. New collectibles are expected to launch within this sector and products connected to the FIFA World Cup in the summer will also drive momentum.

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