Positive growth owes much to traditional toys and games
In 2012, retail value sales of toys and games continued to increase. Growth was stimulated by traditional toys and games, with action figures and accessories and construction toys posting the strongest increases in this category. Video games also continued to post strong growth, primarily due to the dynamic performance of digital gaming, which consists of online games, mobile games and PC and console game downloads. All digital gaming types registered dynamic current value sales growth, which indicates a structural change in gaming towards offering a “next-generation” experience. Nevertheless, innovation and technological development continued to be critical success factors for both traditional toys and games and video games in 2012.
Licensed products continue to boost sales of toys and games
Licensed toys and games continued to have a strong impact on industry sales in 2012. Licensed products have become extremely crucial for key players, who readily agree to pay large sums in order to acquire the licenses to manufacture or sell such toys. In 2012, action figures such as Bakugan, Transformers, Spiderman and Star Wars contributed to the growth in sales of traditional toys and games. In addition, traditional international favourites like Ben 10, Transformers, Hello Kitty, Toy Story and Disney Fairies made solid sales contributions. In terms of domestic licensed products, traditional favourites such as Pippi dominated sales in Sweden.
Digital gaming posts dynamic retail value sales growth
2012 was a record year for digital gaming in Sweden. Online games, PC and console game downloads and mobile games experienced strong current value sales growth. This was due to the digitalization of gaming behaviour and the internet spectrum in Sweden. This structural transformation is bringing traditional video games software under digital distribution, selling from box stores and online. The range extends from tablet devices to mobile phones. In 2012, World of Warcraft, Mass Effect and Fifa were among the most downloaded games in Sweden. Lord of the Rings Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic created significant attention for online games, while Angry Birds continued to lead mobile games, despite a fall in retail value share. In addition, Minecraft contributed to sales across digital gaming: online and mobile games and downloads.
Internet sales continue to rise
Non-store retailing’s retail value share continued to grow in toys and games in Sweden in 2012, mainly thanks to internet retailing. While traditional toys and games stores remained the leading distribution channel, internet retailing increased its value share significantly in both traditional toys and games and video games. In traditional toys and games, leading retailers such as BR Leksaker and Toys “R” Us reported sharp increases in online sales. Likewise, video games giant Electronic Arts Sweden AB and GameStop reported high increases in online sales and downloads. Video games and content are now available online via consoles, PCs and mobile platforms, including mobile phone handsets and hand-held game players.
Technologies redefine consumer behaviour
Improved technologies and sustained consumer interest and curiosity are expected to be the major growth drivers. Suppliers are combating the widely documented trend of “children getting older younger.” Children’s tastes are maturing and becoming more sophisticated at younger ages, which reduces the available time in their lives in which to sell them certain products. The availability of electronic games, mobile phones and computers and an interest in fashion are seeing Swedish children adopt video games earlier, at the expense of conventional toys. As a result, new product development plus technology renewal for existing products are crucial strategies for manufacturers. Finally, social media and networking technologies have become the meeting point for consumers and business, including toys and games.
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The Toys and Games in Sweden market research report includes:
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