Australian Toy Industry Sales Generate $1.11 Billion In 2011

AUSTRALIA, January 1, 2012 – According to leading market research company, The NPD Group, Australia retail sales of toys generated $1.11 billion in 2011 compared to $1.09 million in 2010, a growth of 1 percent. While the value growth was marginal, unit sales were up 7 percent vs. 2010, driven by various strong performing lower priced items.

2011 was a rather dramatic year, with the first half of the year showing strong growth; however, it declined thereafter. First and second quarters (Jan. – Jun.) started off the year with strong positive growth, up 16 percent and 4 percent vs. 2010, respectively. While sales seasons which fall into Q3 and Q4 did not boost the revenues, sales declined 5 percent and under 1 percent, respectively.

Leaving aside the gloomy economic situation, lower-priced item were driving such trend as mentioned earlier. While most of them are collectible lines, impulse purchases were common and revealed in the first half of the year. Those toys include Beyblade, Disney Cars, Lego Mini Figures, and Mighty Beanz. However, with lower-priced items available year-round, discounts during sales period have not been nearly as attractive offer compared to previous years.  

Looking at revenue sales performance across super-categories, building sets experienced the most significant increase at 22 percent. Vehicles also had double-figure value growth at 10 percent, however units declined 4 percent. Dolls and plush also saw revenue increases of 7 percent and 1 percent, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, games/puzzles, action figures, and youth electronics experienced the largest lost compared to 2010, declining by 10 percent, 22 percent, and 26 percent, respectively.

The gains in building sets point to the rapidly-growing Lego kingdom, with a handful of ranges performing well. Hasbro with its “Kre-O Transformers” was also competing strongly. And for vehicles, the movie wave of “Disney Cars” was behind the growth.  

As to what would be expected with the strongly performing, lower-priced items, toys priced under $10 had the greatest increase in 2011 – unit sales were up 12 percent, and share climbed 3 percent. The only other price range that also saw a growth was the range between $40 and $50 (share grew 0.02 percent), with various product ranges having price reduction or moving the focus onto a lower price range.

Top properties for the year based on total dollar sales included Fisher Price, Disney Cars, Barbie, Nerf, and Star Wars. Licensed toys represented 27 percent of total industry sales in 2011, compared to 28 percent in 2010. Based on dollar sales, Disney Cars, Star Wars, Thomas and Friends, Disney Princess, and Disney Toy Story scored the best-selling licensed properties of 2011.

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Gimantha Jayasinghe
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Gimantha.jayasinghe@npd.com

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