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Global Licensing Trends in Traditional Toys and Games

Global traditional toys market: Almost $81 billion industry in 2011

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2014-02-27 19:52:01 - Global Licensing Trends in Traditional Toys and Games - a new market research report on

The global traditional toys market recorded 4% value growth in 2011, to US$80.7 billion compared with 3% gain a year before, defying anaemic economic activity. Steady real terms growth is expected to continue to 2016. Over the 2011-2016, global sales of traditional toys and games are forecast to record a 6.5% CAGR in current terms.

Licensed properties were of the most important contributors to growth over the review period, and are projected to gain more importance across all regions in the coming years.

Eastern Europe and Latin America were the fastest growing regions globally in traditional toys and games in 2011, both recording double-digit value growth. These regions were followed closely by Asia Pacific, which saw 9% value growth in 2011, thanks



to impressive performances from India and China.

North America was the only region to record a decline in traditional toys and games in 2011, posting a 2% drop in value sales. The poor performance of traditional toys and games in North America in 2011 was rather surprising given that the regions economy was in a better shape than Western Europe. However, the North American traditional toys and games market was also sluggish in the pre-recessionary 2003-2007 period.

Key Findings

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.

In almost all of these markets the proportion of 0-14 year-olds in the overall population was below 20% in 2012, suggesting that the grown-up population also has a say in which licensed toys are purchased. Although less than one third of traditional toys and games are licensed, Japan is the largest licensed toys market in the region, accounting for more than half the regions sales in actual terms.

Through the influence of its Hollywood blockbuster movies, the US has a huge impact on global toy licensing trends. However, highly anticipated releases such as Transformers 3, Cars 2, Captain America and Thor failed to lift toy sales in 2011, due partly to dwindling movie attendances.

In the UK, the market became even more dependent on licensing during the recent recession, at which time cinema takings and DVD rentals were higher than ever. This has given the toy industry more opportunity for expansion into licensing, as well as increased marketing opportunities, at a time when new product development has slowed.

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Mike King
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