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Sally Pseudonym — Edition 1

Sally Pseudonym is a guest writer focussing on what’s going on in the toy industry and written in a top-line format. Sally gives you some general information about the ups and downs of the Toy Biz…


  • Last year finished flat and the enthusiasm for Black Friday/Cyber Monday reached fever pitch, however it brought sales forward somewhat from December… Black Friday/Cyber Monday is here to stay and any retailer worth their salt really has to participate
  • Online shopping continues to grow, however the bricks & mortar retailers in general have caught up with the pure plays and whilst we don’t have accurate figures my gut feel is that the balance is shifting back to the bricks & mortar guys’ online business…
  • Wesfarmers purchase of Catch of the Day will certainly take their learning’s to Kmart and Target to strengthen their online business, which is generally running at 5-8 % of the total
  • Landlords will eventually realise this (we live in hope) as retail continues to struggle and doors close… Kaufland pulling out is a big wake up call and as sales in brick & mortar steadily decrease, so should rents (not good if you are a shareholder)
  • LEGO finished at number one and was driven by Technic, Creator, Frozen, Harry Potter and the LEGO movie
  • Mattel finished at number two (what an effort with Barbie finishing as the number one brand up over 30% and Hot Wheels still in positive growth, and Little People up as well)
  • Hasbro were number three…
  • Spin Master was number four… (what a great effort albeit from a low base) but number four spot is great for the Company
  • Hunter Leisure came in fifth, driven by the insane amount of Laser Command sales
  • MGA is number 10, however it’s a new Company and expect them to grow significantly… LOL was down on last year, however the collectable business was around 10% of the toy business last year and it is still a huge number
  • Outdoor toys were affected by drought, bushfires and water restrictions; as a result the category was down double digit
  • Action figures, crafts, dolls and LEGO were the only categories showing any growth last year…
  • LOL was down but still a credible number two to Barbie and if you were not on Frozen and Toy Story you lived in a cave!
  • Paw Patrol showed positive growth, however PJ Masks has fallen away
  • Full marks to Moose for their Bluey execution which looks great in-store and is selling extremely well
  • The Wiggles were up double digit… the team is one of the hardest working teams in the business and they deserve all of their success
  • Pokémon was the comeback king up over 40% last year
  • Fortnight had a credible increase thanks to Nerf
  • The Ooshies Lion King promotion (which took place at Woolworths) is rumoured as being one of their biggest of all time! This collaboration between Woolworths and HeadStart has set the standard for any future promotions!

Looking Forward

  • Barbie will continue to dominate… (not sure about the new skin rash Barbie!)
  • LOL will still be up there… however will most likely decline in sales
  • LEGO Star wars, Harry Potter Creator and Technic were still driving sales in January
  • LEGO was in the number one spot in January
  • Hasbro number two
  • Mattel number three
  • MGA moved up a notch to 9th spot and LOL was still in the top five… what an effort after all these years of growth!
  • Not surprisingly Crayola was in the top 10 with back-to-school
  • The market in January was relatively flat

Predictions

  • Well you really have to be at Toy Fair to see what is on offer!
  • Frozen will continue to perform if the past is any guide
  • Barbie will be the hot ticket but don’t underestimate new LOL launches from MGA
  • LEGO will go from strength to strength… their product development is amazing and you will also see that at Toy Fair
  • Trolls 2 for Easter will be a great shot in the arm for the School Holiday period
  • Minions won’t be as strong as Toy Story was last year but will resonate mid-year
  • Bluey, Bingo and the family will continue to be outstanding
  • Toy Story will do it tough and Disney Princess, as a licence will be steam rolled by Frozen
  • Lego Star Wars new releases are being well received
  • Keep an eye out for Blippi and Kindi Kids