Shoppers bag toys early this Christmas in the UK, driving November sales up 11% year-on-year


In 2020 Brits of all ages turned to toys to help occupy the long weeks of lockdown. From entertainment to education, crafting to creating, to simply playing outside, the sector has proved its worth during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Year-to-date (YTD) to the end of November 2020, toy industry sales in the UK are up 8% in value, with the month of November posting a sales hike of 11% year-on-year as shoppers bought early for Christmas.

The festive period is an essential time for the toy sector, accounting for 31% of annual sales, which equates to £1 billion in revenue. As we approach the big day, Frédérique Tutt, Global Toy Market Expert for The NPD Group expects three categories to dominate sales: “Games & Puzzles are seeing a strong year, with sales up 31% YTD and family favourites Monopoly, Uno and Dobble selling well. Building Sets have also enjoyed strong growth among kids and ‘kidults’, posting a 25% increase YTD. The Harry Potter and Super Mario ranges from LEGO will likely be big hits this Christmas. Finally, Fashion Dolls are enjoying a comeback – expect to see Barbie & L.O.L. Surprise! under the Christmas tree.”

The best-selling toys since 2010

The NPD Group has analysed the top selling toys since the start of the last decade in 2010. The list is a mix of Games, Fashion Dolls, Interactive Toys, Licences and Collectables sold at all price points, from pocket money to more considered purchases.

Frédérique Tutt, Global Toy Market Expert for The NPD Group says: “There’s a cornucopia of toy styles in the list of the best-sellers of the last decade, and that reflects the trends, educational needs and films of the 2010s. Who can forget the rush to get hold of a Furby Boom in 2013, or the craze for Pie Face in 2016 as celebs and families got covered in foam? Interactivity played a big part too as manufacturers embraced technology in cameras, tablets and plush. MGA Entertainment hit gold with the unboxing trend personified in the L.O.L Surprise! phenomenon that is still on Santa’s Lists everywhere. It’s going to be a fierce fought contest this year to see which toy comes out on top and kicks off the 20s decade.”

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