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UK toy market led by Mattel, Hasbro and Lego

Industry Sector

Consumer Goods


14 December 2012


Matt Bodimeade

Type of News


The UK toy market generated sales worth £2.96 billion in 2011, with the industry showing a 3% year-on-year increase in industry value.

More than 384 million toys were sold during 2011, led primarily by building sets, outdoor products and dolls.

Christmas proved to be the main sales season for traditional toys, accounting for 35% of annual expenditure. However, summer sales are also typically strong. Summer sales are often linked to licensed products linked to US film blockbusters such as Transformers 3 and Cars 2, which both debuted in UK cinemas in 2011.

There were three strong leaders within the UK traditional toy market in 2011, with Mattel, Hasbro and Lego accounting for a 10%, 8% and 7% value share respectively. These players all gained around a percentage point value share from 2010. Lego benefited from strong licensing, the launch of Lego Ninjago and an effective performance in pocket money products.

Hasbro meanwhile benefited from the breakthrough of Beyblade, which gained over half a percentage point in value share in 2011 to reach a share of almost 1%.UK toy market

Boys still account for the majority of the market - 55% of all toy sales - and this figured increased by 3% in the year to September 2011. Girls, meanwhile, account for 45% of sales after a 4% rise during the same period.

2012 was set to see a boost to the UK toy market, primarily due to the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee. If consumers spend just 2% of the £1billion expected to be spent on souvenirs and mementos of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee on toys, the two big events could deliver a 4% boost to the toy market over the summer.

Notable toys include the London 2012 Olympics Monopoly board game from Hasbro, and Hornby's Team GB Velodrome cycling toy. On the softer side, London 2012 Olympic Games mascots Mandeville and Wenlock, from manufacturers Golden Bear, are retailing in a twin pack.

For more information on the UK toy market, see the latest research: UK Toy Market

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Visitor Comments

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Lucy Gibbins

731 Days ago

2012 has been a challenging year for the toy industry, partly due to the wider economy and partly due to the fact that the Cars, Star Wars and Moshi Monsters licenses were so successful in 2011 that they have been hard acts to follow.

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