The BTHA has announced at Toy Fair 2022 that the UK toy market was down 3% on 2020, but up 2% on 2019.
UK toy sales for 2021 were down 3% to £3.2bn during what has been a ‘turbulent year’ for the industry, the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) has reported. Some categories grew during the year, including plush, which was up by 9%, and vehicles, up 7%.
Preschool licences were among the top properties for toys in 2021, with classics like Paw Patrol and Barbie featuring, as well as newcomer Bluey making it onto the list.
Roland Earl, director general at the BTHA, commented: “The toy industry faced huge challenges in 2021 including, but not limited to, supply chain concerns and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“Despite these hurdles, the UK toy market has held relatively firm compared to pre-pandemic figures and there are signs to be optimistic about the year ahead with some categories showing growth and a strong line-up of new releases for 2022.”
Melissa Symonds, executive director, UK Toys from the NPD Group, added: “Last year, the UK toy market managed to retain 35% of the value it gained in 2020, with seven out of 11 categories up, compared to 2019 figures.
“Even more impressive is that licensed toys grew for the third consecutive year, reaching 28% of the market – the highest ever share. With a raft of toyetic film releases due this year, as well as the continued strong performance of streaming YouTube and video game licences, 2022 looks set to be a good year for toys.”
The BTHA also hopes the return of Toy Fair this week will play a key role in kickstarting 2022 in toys. Roland continued: “For small and medium-sized businesses, events like Toy Fair are essential to do business as it creates an opportunity for companies to network and reach new customers which can’t be replicated online. We look forward to seeing these meetings resume.”