UK toy industry worth £2.96bn

Market statistics show the UK’s toy industry generated sales worth a total of 2.96 billion in 2011.

The figures were released by research firm the NPD Group at this morning’s Toy Fair, and also showed a three per cent year-on-year increase in the industry’s value.

By contrast, the UK’s video games industry was worth 2.52bn in 2011, although this only takes retail sales into account. It does not include sales of downloadable content, MMO subscriptions or microtransactions.

More than 384m toys were sold during 2011, led primarily by building sets, outdoor products and dolls.

Boys still account for the majority of the market – 55 per cent of all toy sales – and this figured increased by three per cent in the year to September 2011. Girls, meanwhile, account for 45 per cent of sales after a four per cent rise during the same period.

"2011 was an incredibly tough trading period for all areas of retail in the UK," said a British Toy & Hobby Association spokesperson.

"By managing to grow in such difficult times, the UK toy industry has proved its resilience yet again. We are made of strong stuff. Strong stuff, plus creativity, innovation, imagination and the foresight to embrace opportunity; whether that opportunity lies in technology, licences or real world events such as the Olympics, Euro 2012 or forthcoming family blockbusters such as Ted, The Amazing Spider-Man, Men In Black III and Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, which will all help to keep children’s interest in toys alive over the summer."

Additional data from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor revealed that, while total UK retail sales, grew by two per cent last year, general non-food sales rose by just 0.2 per cent – pointing to a relatively strong performance from the toy market.

Toy Fair 2012 is being held at London’s Olympia, and runs until Thursday, January 26th.

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