It seems the toy business is winning the battle of keeping older boys interested in the sector for longer, with the fastest growth in the category last year coming from the 12 to 17 year-old age group. NPD presents more stats, before we run through some of the key product launches coming up…
SECTOR GUIDE BOYS 47
WITH OVER £1.5 billion spent on toys for boys in 2011, up two per cent on 2010 (source: NPD Consumer Panel), the market for boys is highly competitive and dynamic. Some 52 per cent of all toys purchased in the UK were for boys, with the fastest growth coming from the older age groups – ten to 11 year- olds were up 16 per cent and 12 to 17 years was up 32 per cent – as boys remain within the toy market for longer. However, the two to three year age group is still the single largest, accounting for 21 per cent of all toys purchased for boys. After infant and pre-school toys, building sets remains the largest supercategory for boys in the UK, growing by six per cent since 2010 and accounting for 14 per cent of all toy purchases for boys. This was heavily driven by Lego’s continued success, with Lego City, Star Wars and Ninjago the top performers, along with new launches such as Character Building and Hasbro’s Kre-O. Buoyed by the launch of Cars 2, vehicles is the next largest area for boys. R/C toys under this category
also proved popular with growth of 15 per cent (source: NPD EPOS Panel), driven by Spin Master’s Air Hogs. Outdoor and sports toys is also a popular area for boys, with Nerf’s runaway success, as well as scooters proving very popular. With the weather forecast remaining dry for this year, it could be another bumper year for boys’ outdoor lines. The traditional boys area of action figures now only accounts for ten per cent of purchasing, and declined by 11 per cent in 2010. However, it has seen some popular lines such as Bakugan and Beyblades grow over the last year. This could be one area to watch in 2012, with the return of a new Ben 10: Omniverse series, as well as Redakai, Monsuno and Transformers Prime providing inspiration for toy lines. The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and Star Wars are also in cinemas to help reinvigorate this category.
Boys toys remains a key area for the market – one where new licences and innovation can continue to drive excitement and interest for all boys of all ages.
Boys Spend % Across Toys Supercategories, 2010 vs 2011
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
Dolls 1.1% 3.3%
12.9% 11.5% 8.8%
13.4% 10.0% 9.8%
19.68% 2010 Youth Electronics
All other toys Vehicles
Building sets Plush
19.4% 2011 Arts & Crafts Games/Puzzles
Action Figures/Access/Role Play Outdoor & Sports Toys Infant/Preschool toys