London Toy Fair Begins with Key Insights on day one
London Toy Fair has officially opened its doors!
Melissa Symonds, UK Toy Director at Circana, working with the British Toy and Hobby Association at the press launch this morning shared some key insights.
The UK Toy market in 2023 (covers sales from January to end December 2023) reached £3.5 billion in sales; however, this was a 5% decline in value compared to the previous year and a 7% drop in units.
Despite a challenging market, three supercategories stood out with remarkable growth: Plush (+11%), Games & Puzzles, and Building Sets. Traditional Plush (stuffed toys) emerged as the fastest-growing subclass.
Valued at £288 million, collectibles have experienced 3% growth, constituting 20.9% of the market. This is driven by Pokemon & Squishmallows and new launch of Miniverse from MGA.
Licenced products continued their upward trajectory and now account for 32% of the UK Toy market, a significant increase from 26% in 2020.
The average selling price for toys saw a 2% increase, reaching £10.79. Notably, 63.5% of toy units were sold under £10, as manufacturers respond to the ongoing cost of living crisis while only 2% of toys by volume were sold over £50, representing 13% of the market’s value share.
Comprising 28.7% of the toy market’s value as of September 2023, adults buying kids toys (kidults) witnessed a noteworthy 6% uptick. Keen to add more fun and excitement in their lives, Building Sets and Games & Puzzles were key categories for this demographic, closely followed by Plush and Action Figures.
The Squishmallow Plush 8” Assortment claimed the top spot in the UK Toys market, boasting an average selling price of £9.01.
Melissa comments: “2023 may not have been a growth year for toys, but it is in-line with the general economic performance for the UK. Innovation and newness are key drivers of growth however, so we hope that 2024 will provide some exciting new products and fresh properties; perhaps even a craze or two that will continue to provide fun and excitement for little and the big kids who are just as interested in play. After all, we all deserve more fun in our lives and toys provide much-needed escapism activities that tap into our childhoods, evoking a more carefree time in our lives.”
Gary Pope of Kids Industries shared this thoughts:
Gary at KI on the data! Might be useful? “Brilliant to see affordable toys really coming into their own. I said at Christmas that the industry needed to focus more on this fundamentally important segment of the market. It just makes sense that we make play as accessible as possible and drive volume. Those who can innovate and inspire imaginations for under £20, will continue to be the winners through 2024.
The rise of the “kidult” trend is more than the nostalgia of rediscovering your childhood. It’s far more interesting than that and the products that have impact in this category are rarely actually for children. This is about rediscovering the human need to play and that has to be a very positive thing when the world is in the toilet. A much-needed form of escapism, toys for adults will only become more popular in 2024.”