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Between 2008 and 2012, sales of toys and games in the UK declined in value by 1.4%, despite annual growth occurring in 2010 and 2011. These fluctuations are a direct result of the economic downturn, with growth continuing to remain unstable since 2008/2009. Even the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games — which held such promise for toymakers developing specialised, limited-edition ranges — failed to drive sales over the past year. A lack of new product development (NPD) across Europe, as well as the continued decline of a number of high-street toy retailers, such as Modelzone and the Early Learning Centre (ELC), has also served to put downwards pressure on the market’s value; as has the influx of discount and value toy ranges on the market in recent years. In addition, the increasing popularity of online sellers such as Amazon and eBay, which provide a wide range of toys at bargain prices, is thought to have served to erode market value slightly, with consumers seeking out lower cost online deals in order to save money where possible.
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