Gifts Today magazine

Films encourage toy sales

Motion pictures are becoming more and more important to the UK toy industry says the NPD Group, the global information provider.

Up to 2 May this year, sales of film-related toys represent 14% of total market, a 55% increase year-on-year and doubling since the same period in 2013.

This summer toys from the Minions Movie and Star Wars’ Episode VII are expected to fly off the shelves.

Disney’s retail event “May the fourth be with you” organised on 4 May, boosted sales by 25% in the week prior to the event.

The NPD Group expects Star Wars VII toy sales to be the biggest seen. This would be a significant achievement, given Frozen’s record of £76m in toy sales at retail.

Frederique Tutt, the NPD Group’s Global Industry Analyst, said: “As well as launching new characters, the Hollywood studios have expertly turned their top franchises into sequels. These are less risky than brand new franchises for retailers, and often benefit from greater exposure as buyers know what level of business to expect. Star Wars has always been a favourite with kids and adults alike and so we expect this movie to be a hugely important driver of toy sales in the crucial last quarter of the year.”

NPD Group believes that increasingly for kids and toys, “content is the Holy Grail”. With its short-form videos and ease of use, kids are enjoying sharing and creating content on YouTube in particular. Accessing cartoons, films and videos on tablets through TV channels like Nickelodeon and subscription services like Netflix means kids can watch and engage with characters when they want to. TV channels, Hollywood studios and film makers are adapting to this changing media landscape where kids are in control of what they watch and when they watch it.

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