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July 2020
9 Min read

Toy Story 2.
Toy and Game Industry Research

Irina Yaroshenko

International Sales Manager +4314120126

5/5 - (3 votes)

When Jared Leto came back from his meditation in a desert, he was perplexed. He found himself in a completely different reality, where countries close the borders, and people no longer shake hands and stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. What would happen to the frontman, if he spent there all three months of quarantine and returned to a new world? Jared, this article is just for you! )) And, of course, for those who want to stay up-to-date.

Our mystery shopping company realizes that the ideas of globalism seem to be ending in agony before our eyes, and the world is divided into isolated economic macro zones once again. Yes, China is gradually recovering, but the factories in India are closing down, which calls into question the supply of components. As a result, multinational corporations and, in consequence, ordinary people will have to adapt to new realities and play new (or well-forgotten old) games, dictated by already accomplished events. 

Toy Market Overview

According to the NPD analysts, the cost of toys sales in the UK has risen by 17% in two months since the quarantine began, in comparison with a similar period last year. This is because parents and children in Great Britain actually buy less toys, but spend more on the ones they bought for the isolation period. According to the NPD, the average amount spent on a toy or a game increased from £8.07 to £9.65.

The games and puzzles “to keep children busy while parents are working” remain the biggest success story: the sales grew by 43% in the first half of this year compared to the first six months of 2019.

Toy Market

In recent years, there has been a growing popularity of interactive and multifunctional toys and games among children, with a positive impact on the toy and games market.

In addition to jigsaw puzzles and brainteasers, there is a growing demand for sports equipment and goods for preschool education. Sales of toys and games based on cartoons, TV, and movie characters are growing, which contributes to further market growth.

Industry Forecasts

Before quarantine, it was predicted that by 2023 alone, the toy market will reach more than $120 billion. Currently, e-commerce retailers, in particular, enjoy success as consumers switch to online shopping, and this trend will continue in the coming years.

Major players around the world are focused on new product development, competitor price monitoring, mergers, and acquisitions to optimize their offers, as well as on partnerships with local or regional players. Asia is the fastest-growing market, while spendings are highest in the United States, where toys tend to be largely collectible.

Playing By New Rules 

The Toy Association has announced its plans for the annual Toy Fair.  Three virtual market weeks were planned to help toy companies contact their customers, suppliers, and the global gaming community at this uncertain time when face-to-face meetings and events are not possible. 

From July 13-19, the Toy Association will host the first of three virtual market weeks in 2020, connecting toy manufacturers with a global audience of toy buyers, the media, and other key stakeholders ahead of the critical fourth-quarter sales season. Two more Everywhere toy fairs are scheduled for August 17-23 and September 14-20. 

Walking around the exhibition hall, the virtual market week visitors will be able to see the calendar of daily events, browse the participants by category, and book meetings for virtual demos and chat rooms.

Toy Fair Everywhere will also include educational sessions and other interesting special events, both live and pre-recorded, which are aimed to show stability, drive, and passion of the global toy community for the industry. 

Coronavirus and Industry

Kids Insights believes that this time in history will be divided for three periods: “BC (before Coronavirus), DC (during Coronavirus), and AC (after Coronavirus).

Using the real-time data portal, you can already monitor significant trends during coronavirus:

  1. The types of toys and games that children have played within the last few weeks during Coronavirus (DC) have changed dramatically. Board games are becoming more and more popular. It contributes to family fun together and facilitates the task of “How to make a restless child busy?”. Board games are now a favorite toy for 5.5% of Spanish residents (67% increase), for 4.2% in Italy (61% increase), and 2% in the UK (66% increase). For example, in Germany, the desire to do puzzles has grown from 0.2% to 0.9%.
  2. In March 2020, there was also a revival of a more “traditional” choice of toys. For example, over the last month in the UK (+14%), Italy (+12%) and Germany (+4%) children started to play more with puzzles and brainteasers.
  3. The research by Kids Insights shows an increase in the number of retro game consoles. Low prices for used consoles and consoles found in the parent’s attic prompted interest in retro games. Under current conditions, this interest has increased in many countries, including the UK (+12%), France (+59%), Italy (+22%), and India (+58%).
  4. Children spend more time on the Internet and social networks.

In Italy, the use of Netflix has increased by 10%, and the use of set-top boxes — by 16%. It is expected that this will be common for the whole of Europe. 

The number of 6-12-year-old kids in Spain using chat platforms has increased by 20%. Children are increasingly looking for like-minded people in different social networks and communities. The data also shows that the number of teenagers in Italy using Facebook has increased by 30%.

To ensure that your business has survived the quarantine period and can rehabilitate itself, we recommend that you conduct regular shop audit and develop a retail customer journey map.

How to Adapt to the New Realities 

It is difficult to say how children’s behavior will be changed after the coronavirus finally recedes. But one thing we’ve learned for sure: during the “DC” period, children are interested in traditional games again so that forgotten board games and consoles should be in stock on the shelves. Well, online activity is certainly increasing, so many companies can reach their target group here by creating an account in one of the currently popular social networks.

Today, more than 3 billion people across the world are social network users. And these people use social media to interact with the brands. Without a doubt, the number of global online networking websites is going to increase in the future. For example, demand for the TikTok app peaked in March with 75.5 million downloads.

Digital research agency 4testers is also engaged in crowdtesting and social network monitoring. Our experts will help you not only learn everything about your SMM with our competitive intelligence service but also develop a competitive pricing policy and effective strategy based on your goals.

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