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Boys’ licensed properties show strong growth

Sales up 20% on 2015 for boys properties, but sales of products for 9-14 girls at all time low, says NPD.

Boys’ licensed properties are showing incredible growth, with sales of licensed products up 20% on 2015. This has been driven by Star Wars and super hero properties according to a presentation from Frederique Tutt from the NPD Group at this year’s BLE.

Sales of kids’ licensed products in the UK is up across all age groups, but it is the growth in boys’ properties that is driving this.

“Growth in the boys 9-14 year old age group is particularly strong, with sales up 23% since 2011,” said Frederique Tutt, toys global industry analyst at the NPD Group. “This has been driven by Star Wars, which is the number one property in the UK with 7.7% of the market share (12 months to June 2016).

“In a complete contrast the sales of licensed products in the girls 9-14 year age group is at an all time low; down 3% since 2011.”

Frederique continued: “There’s nothing that quite captivates girls in that 9-14 years age bracket. In the past few years we’ve seen the Star Wars effect, but also the growth of superheroes, which predominantly target boys. Frozen has been big for girls, and actually is still the second biggest property in the UK, but this mainly targets younger girls.”

The fact that Star Wars has been so popular will come as no shock to those in the industry. Movies continue to act as an important driver to sales of licensed product, with 15% of toy sales in the UK being products based on the latest releases.

“Super heroes are also very popular with boys and a trend we’re seeing is a growing market share of super hero properties with boys under 5 years,” added Frederique. “Avengers, Superman, Batman as well as Star Wars are all in the top 10 IPs for boys under 5. Studios have caught onto this trend and are aging down toys and products.”

In terms of properties that are gaining traction PAW Patrol, Pokémon, Tsum Tsum and Yo-Kai Watch are all doing well in Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the UK. “Shopkins is also strong in the toy market and isn’t far off the top 10,” says Frederique. “It’s very strong in Australia, Canada, the US and UK, but hasn’t quite got the same appeal in European markets yet.”

Looking ahead to 2016-17, Frederique predicts another record year, although last year’s Q4 will be hard to beat.

“It will be tough to beat, although Star Wars Rogue One will go some way to boost sales. I think there is also a huge opportunity in the girls 9 years plus to fill the shoes of Frozen.”

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