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Toys and Games: must-read industry reports and analysis

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Global Game Toy Industry


The global toys and games industry is expected to hit the $100 billion mark by 2015, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. In recent years the whole leisure inudstry has been influenced by changing consumer tastes, so much that children now opt for more sophisticated video games and electronic toys. Children are also becoming increasingly accustomed to changing toys more frequently. This means toy and game manufacturers are obliged to introduce new products on a regular basis, and focus on innovation and technological advancements.


Market growth is being fuelled by video, console and computer games, with the industry also benefiting from a growing adult consumer base as this group takes a greater interest in games as a popular leisure pursuit. Industry players are focusing their marketing efforts on older children and adults, with small children no longer considered the industry’s main target demographic.


Key Segments


  • The global videogame market has been witnessing significant change in recent years. Manufacturers are expanding their consumer base by offering new devices and new game categories. Parks Associates highlights the importance of new business models such as free-to-play as more successful in monetizing specific audiences.


  • The worldwide online games market continues to record strong growth, with more than 210 million internet users using online game sites, according to Global Industry Analysts. The number of internet users visiting online game sites is expected to record yearly growth in excess of 15% over the coming years. Online console gamers are attracted to the ease of playing, which is better with a console than with a PC.


  • Web games are forecast to hit the $1 billion mark in China in 2013, reports Pearl Research. The leading online game from Tencent has over 800,000 peak concurrent users. Market growth will be fuelled in part by micro-client version of games, which currently constitutes a popular trend in China. Normal client-based games are typically over 1GB while micro-client files tend to be under 50MB, slashing download time to less than 15 minutes with a broadband connection. Micro-client software is also more suitable for large platform users such as social network platforms.



Regional Market Share


  • The US and the EU record strong demand for toys and games due to high standards of living and the importance of leisure pursuits, reports Global Industry Analysts. Japan, however, dominates the global video games market. The UK leads the EU nations, followed by Germany and France. Emerging Asia Pacific and Latin America economies are forecast to lead near-term demand.


  • According to research from MarketLine, the US toys and games market was over $22 billion in 2011 having recorded yearly growth of -0.2% for the four preceding years. Specialist stores sales are expected to led the market in 2011 to surpass $11.5 billion, or more than half the market in terms of value. Market growth is expected to accelerate to a yearly rate of 0.1% between 2011 and 2016 to reach almost $22.1 billion.


  • In the EU, toys and games represented a near $22 billion market in 2011, reports MarketLine. Yearly growth between 2007 and 2011 was well ahead of the US market, exceeding 2%. Specialist stores generated the most revenue in 2011 with over $12 billion, equivalent to almost 56% of the overall market. In the five-year period ending 2016, market performance is set to remain above a yearly rate of 2% to surpass $24 billion.


  • India’s toys and games market reached revenue of almost $2.5 billion in 2011 after maintaining annual growth of almost 9% for four years. MarketLine estimates specialist store sales accounted for 60% of overall industry revenues at almost $1.5 billion. Market growth is expected to remain at almost 9% through 2016 bringing the market to over $3.6 billion. The Indian toy industry is characterized by fragmentation, with growth slowed by the small scale of domestic producers lacking in innovation and less resources to invest in equipment, technology and advertising. Smart Research Insights predicts growth will become stronger due to urbanization, an expanding consumer base and rising income levels. Top players in the Indian toy industry include Hamleys, Funskool India, Hanung Toys & Textiles, Mattel Toys and Ok Play India.


  • China’s toys and games market recorded 10% year-on-year growth in 2011 reaching around $11 billion, reports Global Sources. Market growth is hampered by low overseas sales due to slow recovery from the debt crisis. Key factors for the industry moving forward include identifying new sources of demand and adhering to increasingly strict safety standards.



Market Outlook


Demand for intelligent and interactive toys is expected to continue growing and fuelling the global toys and games market, reports Global Industry Analysts. This development has pushed non-toy companies, including Microsoft and Intel, to add their offerings to the market.


While traditional toys and games are losing some degree of popularity in the face of competition from interactive and intelligent toys, this market segment is expected to record demand in some regions.



Leading Industry Associations




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Parent industry:  Leisure

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