New Toys and Games Research: What is it Telling Us?

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Euromonitor International’s latest research reveals that 2014 saw the highest global growth in toys and games in six years, as emerging regions continued to drive sales. Value sales of toys and games recoded double digit value growth in emerging regions, including Latin America and Eastern Europe. The developed markets of Western Europe and North America saw their best performances since 2008 – a much awaited and welcome return to growth following sluggish sales over recent years.

In 2014, global sales of traditional toys and games and video games recorded value growth of around 5% and 7%, respectively. Licensed products remained an important contributor to the industry’s dynamism. In traditional toys and games, construction, once again, was the fastest growing category with approximately 13% growth in value terms, closely followed by dressing-up and role play, with 12% growth. Video games recorded its best performance since 2008, posting double-digit value growth, as the full impact of the arrival of the much anticipated next-generation consoles, Xbox One and PS4, were felt across the globe. The increasingly popular digital gaming was another contributor to video games’ strong performance in 2014.

Some of our key findings include:

  • The global toys and games sales exceeded US$151 billion in 2014, recording 6% value growth compared with 3% gain the previous year. Steady real term growth is expected to continue to 2019.
  • Traditional toys and games, which accounts for over 56% of total toys and games in value terms globally, recorded its best performance for more than a decade in 2014 with 5% value growth while sales exceeded US$85 billion mark. Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific were among the best performing regions, recording over 9% and 7% value growth, respectively. These regions were followed by Latin America, which enjoyed around 6% increase in value sales in 2014. World’ s top 5 best performing markets included Argentina, Turkey, Indonesia, Thailand and Russia all posting double digit growth rates. 

  • In relation to licensing, Frozen, by far the hottest merchandise of 2014 globally. Launched at the end of 2013, Disney’s ever most successful animated children’s film snowballed into a phenomenon throughout 2014 taking the industry by surprise. The brand’s popularity extended beyond North America – it was the third-biggest film ever at the Japanese box office, for example. The blockbuster film’s central dynamic – the turbulent, but ultimately loving, relationship between two sisters – enjoyed significant cross-cultural/global appeal throughout the year stimulating toys sales.
    • 2014 witnessed many movie launches which contributed to the sales of tie-in products. LEGO movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Disney’s Planes Fire & Rescue, Transformers: Age of Extinction, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Spider Man 2 as well as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America  all came in 2014, leading to a flurry of licensed action figures, dressing-up and role play, construction toys and other products.
    • In the US, the birthplace of many international licences and world’s largest licensed toys market, penetration of licensed properties in toys reached 27% in 2014 translating into almost US$5.9 billion in absolute sales. Licensed toys will likely continue to be one of the fastest growing areas in the US remaining vitally important to sales. 
    • Construction was the fastest growing category in traditional toys and games in a 7th consecutive year in 2014 with 13% value growth globally thanks largely to another phenomenal performance from LEGO. The popularity these toys proved to be resistant to any sort of decline and the success of the remarkable LEGO movie meant that 2014 was just another great year for the company. With the new Star Wars movie being launched in 2015, the future also looks pretty bright. Back in 2013, Mattel, world’s largest toys maker, acquired MEGA brands, meaning competition could become more intense. Construction is also forecast to be the most dynamic category in overall toys and games globally with over 6% CAGR adding further US$3.3 billion in projected sales by 2019.

    2 thoughts

    1. Hi, I’m curious as to the data source for these numbers. There is no source listed, so I was wondering how you aggregated this data.

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