Almost a quarter – 11 toys per child, were given for Christmas, the study – released by the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) and the NPD Group at this year’s annual Toy Fair – found, with merchandise relating to the Minions, Avengers, Jurassic World and Star Wars all high on the bestsellers list.
The total value of the British toy industry grew by nearly 6 per cent last year to £3.2 billion, the report found.
The strongest sectors for growth in 2015 were action figure, which saw sales rise by 20 per cent, alongside building sets and soft toys, which were both up by 14 per cent.
The best-selling toy in the UK in 2015 was Lego’s Mini Figures – small packets containing a single Lego character which retails for under £3.
Other toys to sell strongly last year included other stocking fillers such as a two-pack of Shopkins characters – while full-size Lego sets including an ice palace inspired by hit film Frozen and the Lego Millennium Falcon were on the top ten best selling list. Hasbro’s Pie Face game, which sees players threatened to be covered in whipped cream or a smacked in the face with a wet sponge, was also in the top five.
Frederique Tutt, global toy industry analyst at the NPD Group, added: “What is interesting about the 2015 performance is the lasting endurance of traditional toys such as building sets and action figures. It’s also great to see the variety in the toy industry where a fun game like Pie Face went viral on the internet, alongside the traditional collectables and the launch of exciting new toys from the movies.”
Natasha Crookes of the BTHAsaid: “Some highly creative partnerships with major film properties were a significant driver of growth, but so too was the resurgence of traditional toys such as building sets. It’s fantastic to see innovation resulting in market growth and with more than a third of last year’s value driven by new product launches it goes to show how much our industry reinvents itself each year to keep toys and games interesting to children and families.”
Some toy sellers reported that shoppers left purchases until the last minute at Christmas, which resulted in a few shortages of popular toys as retailers struggled to predict stock levels.
Top selling toys of 2015 in the UK (by £ sales)
1. Lego: Minifigures
2. Flair Preziosi: Shopkins two-pack
3. Lego Group: Disney Frozen Elsa sparkling ice castle
4. Hasbro: Pie Face Game
5. Mookie Toys - Smart Trike 4 in 1
6. Jakks Pacific - Disney Frozen Sing Along with Elsa
7. Flair Preziosi - Shopkins 12 pack
8. Hasbro - Nerf N Strike Elite Modulus Blaster
9. Mattel - Hot Wheels Basic Cars
10 Lego - Star Wars Millenium Falcon