Despite the severe financial crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional toys and games registered stable year-on-year value growth relative to the previous year. Since the pandemic forced the nation to remain under lockdown at home for a large proportion of the year, demand for traditional toys and games did not fade as families and children sought to remain entertained at home.
While traditional toys and games overall registered stable year-on-year growth, the story is mixed as some categories performed particularly well, while others struggled, or even declined. The ever-popular construction category achieved double-digit growth as the interactive nature of building blocks attracted consumers during lockdown.
While popular brick-and-mortar channels including supermarkets and traditional toys and games stores remain the leading sales channels, e-commerce sales more than doubled in 2020. This is not surprising, given the nature of the pandemic, which led to a strict nationwide lockdown for almost two months, while a partial lockdown persisted for the remainder of the year.
The traditional toys and games industry is expected to register slightly lower growth in 2021 and then stabilise in the forecast period. The key reason for this is that the re-opening of the economy and some form of return to “normal life” should depress demand slightly, as families spend more time outdoors and away from home.
The continued shift to digital forms of entertainment cannot be ignored, as children are introduced to smartphones, streaming services and gaming from early on in their childhoods. The implication for the toys and games industry is that the interplay between digital and traditional forms of play should remain crucial going forward, as children (and adults) seek to play with toy characters that they are seeing in games and TV series.
The strong growth in e-commerce in 2020 is likely to persist in the forecast period, as the pandemic has fast-tracked consumer interest in online shopping. The year fostered trust in buying toys online, as consumers enjoyed the convenience it brought while being the safest option during the height of the pandemic.
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This report originates from Passport, our Traditional Toys and Games research and analysis database.
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