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World Cup fever takes over UK toy market

6.6 million football-related toys and stickers sold since the beginning of 2018.

With just under two weeks to go until England’s opening game in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, £11 million has already been spent in the UK on football and FIFA World Cup themed toys including Panini Moscow stickers, Match Attax and Trump Cards.

Notably, the single pack of Panini FIFA World Cup 2018 stickers was the second best selling item for the week ending May 19 (at an average price of 80p), according to NPD data.

The top five best selling football related toys in the UK (week ending May 19) are as follows:

  • FIFA World Cup 2018 1 Pack  – Panini
  • FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 6 packs – Panini
  • FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 10 packs – Panini
  • FIFA World Cup 2018 Adrenaline XL pack – Panini
  • FIFA World Cup 2018 Album + 3 packs – Panini

British consumers certainly embrace sports-fuelled buying trends and crazes.

In 2016, 24 million toys, cards and stickers were sold in the UK throughout the UEFA 2016 European Championship, equivalent to £26 million in retail sales.

NPD looked at which European markets are buying the most football-related toys at the moment, with the UK, France and Belgium leading at £2.50 in every £100 spent on toys, followed by Germany at £1.70 and Spain at £1.20 (all week ending May 19 2018).

“The last significant football event – the UEFA 2016 European Championship – had a huge impact on the toy industry,” said Frédérique Tutt, toys global industry analyst at The NPD Group. “More than 24 million football-related toys were sold in the UK – that’s 6% of all the toy sales by volume in the country that year.

“So far in 2018, football-related toy sales total £11 million – that’s including Premier League related toys too. And in the most recent week that we have data for, the seven days ending May 19, £921,000 was spent on football-related toys – that’s almost £5,500 an hour.

“With one in eight toys sold in the UK in the third week of May being football-related, the next few weeks will give the toy sector a welcome boost.”

Frederique explained that sales of football-related toys almost double in Euro and World Cup years, showing how important the sport is to the toy sector.

She added: “This makes football unique in terms of its impact on toy sales as other regional and global sports competitions such as rugby, tennis and even the Olympics have yet to make a similar effect on sales.”

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