In 2018, Toys ‘R’ Us announced its exit from the Australian market, after its US counterpart announced it was going into liquidation a few months earlier. Although the traditional toys and games stores distribution channel had already been struggling to keep up with other channels, such as mass merchandisers and internet retailing, the exit of Toys ‘R’ Us had a strong effect on the performance of many manufacturers.
Despite the poor performance of traditional toys and games in 2018, some categories were not too strongly affected. For example, scientific/educational toys continued to be positively influenced by Australian parents’ push towards toys and games that teach their children skills or knowledge in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
In 2018, licensing continued to be an important aspect of brand manufacturers’ strategies. New film releases in 2019 are expected to have a positive influence on the performance of categories such as dolls and accessories, action figures and accessories and games and puzzles.
LEGO Australia continued to lead traditional toys and games in value terms in 2018, and even saw a slight increase in its share with its popular Lego construction brand. Second-placed Hasbro Australia was the only other player in traditional toys and games to hold a double-digit value share in 2018, and also saw share growth thanks to its wide range of brands across many different categories, many of which are licensed.
Traditional toys and games stores struggled to attract a significant number of new customers over recent years. The exit of Toys ‘R’ Us from toys and games in Australia also led to the lower presence of this channel in the market.
Licensing continues to be an important point of differentiation for manufacturers of toys and games in Australia. This is expected to continue; particularly as new film releases have been announced for the coming years.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Toys and Games market research database.