The global toy market was estimated to be worth $84 billion in 2012, of which $20 billion was attributable to the US market. In recent years the market has been influenced by changing consumer tastes, with children opting for more sophisticated video games and electronic toys. Children are also becoming increasingly accustomed to changing toys more frequently.
A key trend driving the market is the growing disenchantment of children towards toys and games at an early age. The span of attention and the desirability to play with the same toys/games for long period of time is gradually, but surely on the decline. This has resulted in the introduction of new and 'different' games and toys at very frequent intervals, each one vying to be more innovative, attractive, and technologically superior than the other.
Today's child is more interested in playing with trendier and smarter electronic toys and video games, rather than the traditional toys. Manufacturers are thus continually striving to innovate and introduce more evolved games for the youngsters of today. Console and computer games, in addition to the video games, are the key driving forces behind the industry's growth. In addition, the rise in stress levels associated with modern living is causing adults to increasingly turn to toys and games that carry an element of excitement and fun, and such factors are also contributing to the market growth.
One of the most significant developments in the recent years has been the growth and popularity of interactive and intelligent toys. These toys, rather than the hitherto market leaders such as traditional toys, are the new growth drivers. This has encouraged other non-toy companies, such as Intel and Microsoft, to jump into the fray by investing in this lucrative market space. An amazing fact about these intelligent toys is that their popularity is not just limited to the new generation of computer savvy youngsters, but in several cases, extends to the adults too. The grown-ups are equally fascinated with the capability to add interesting personality and unique characteristic traits of a cuddly toy.
Source: The NPD Group / Consumer Panel Tracking
Traditionally, the US and European markets have been the centres of demand for the toy market, due to better lifestyle and socio-cultural reasons, while Japan remains the global leader in the video games market.
However, Asia Pacific is forecast to surpass Western Europe and North America, becoming the largest traditional toy market by 2016, accounting for 28% of global sales, thanks to substantial growth in China, Thailand and India.
Among the European countries, the United Kingdom takes the lead, trailed by Germany and France. The near-term growth of the global toys and games industry is expected to be fuelled by emerging economies in Asia Pacific and Latin America due to the high GDP in these regions, as well as an increasing shift towards a more westernized lifestyle.
Despite the relatively waning popularity of the traditional games in many regions of the world, the segment continues to hold asignificant share in the global toys and games market. Growth for the entire toys and games market is dependent upon those sectors, which provide a high degree of innovation and superior technological features. Console and computer games, interactive and intelligent toys, fall under this category.
Annual 2011 to Annual 2012
Action Figure/Acc/Role Play
Arts & Crafts
Outdoor & Sports Toys
All Other Toys
Source: Toys Consumer Tracking service from The NPD Group
Licensing is a key parameter affecting toys sales globally.7 out of the top 10 most heavily licensed traditional toys and markets are in Asia Pacific, and in almost all these markets the proportion of 0-14 year-olds in the total population was below 20% in 2012, suggesting that the grown-up population also has a say in which licensed toys are purchased.
The penetration of licensed toys in overall toy sales continued to increase across the majority of countries in 2011. With their entertainment media backing, licensed toys often carry a higher price tag than their non-licensed counterparts, allowing higher margins for manufacturers.
US firm Mattel is the world's biggest toy manufacturer. But just last month, Denmark's Lego became the world's second-biggest toy maker after reporting a 13% increase in sales. The company generated sales of $1.8bn (£1.2bn) for the six months to 30 June, up from the same period last year, overtaking US-based Hasbro. The firm said first-half profits hit $550m and its market share rose to 8.8%.
Traditional toys brands
Barbie, Break the Safe™, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Fisher-Price®, Little People®, Rescue Heroes™, Power Wheels®
Barbie CareNCure, UNO, Barbie Girls, Hot Wheels
Disney, Warner Bros., Pixar, Viacom International Inc., Sesame Workshop
My Little Pony, SpongeBob, Toy Story
Monopoly, Pictureka, Scrabble
Transformer, G.I. Joe, Incredible Hulk, Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, Star Wars, Wolverine, Disney, Iron Man
Ben 10, Power Ranger, Dragon Ball, Digimon, Blue Dragon
Kamen Rider, Harumika, Tamaguchi, Mugen Pop PopTM
Ben 10, Power Ranger, Dragon Ball, Ultraman
For more information on the global toy market, see the latest research: Toy Market Research
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