Spielwarenmesse 2015 – Global Trends in Play

Euromonitor International will be presenting at the 2015 Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg on 28 January. The Global Trends in Play presentation will inform listeners of Euromonitor International’s research into the traditional toys and games industry. The presentation will discuss the performance of the traditional toys and games industry from a global and regional perspective in 2013, followed by a discussion about the most prominent trends that are affecting the industry and how they will manifest themselves over the next few years.

Research conducted by in-country analysts reveals that the global toys and games industry struggled to grow in 2013. Strong growth for traditional toys and games products has remained elusive for the industry since 2010. Key markets in Western Europe and North America have seen consumer expenditure on toys and games products constricted due to the effects of the recession and a general shift in spend toward video games in the past few years. 2013 was no different, as Western Europe and North America both underperformed global average growth rates.

However, the story from emerging markets is much more positive. Emerging markets in Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America all achieved sales growth rates that exceeded the global average in 2013. Disposable incomes have improved in these three regions, which has created wealthier consumers who are more able to spend their money on toys and games products. Demand and growth has been strong enough in Asia Pacific for the region to challenge North America as the world’s largest traditional toys market – current Euromonitor International forecasts expect this to occur as soon as 2016.

Looking at current trends in the market, the next five years provide traditional toy manufacturers and retailers with reasons to be both optimistic and concerned. Demographically, key markets in North America and Western Europe are experiencing ageing populations, which is removing the potential market for traditional toys. In addition to this, young populations in these countries are playing video games at an ever younger age, pushing aside physical for digital play. These factors combined will continue to threaten the already precarious future of traditional toys in developed markets.

Nevertheless, there are ways in which the industry can adapt in order to take advantage of these developments. While video games are a direct threat to traditional toys, they also provide new avenues that the industry can explore. Manufacturers can create new toy products that work in conjunction with video game technology, such as the popular range of Skylanders figurines. Video games have also become huge brands themselves, with some receiving audience figures that rival numbers experienced by top Hollywood films.

Furthermore, positive performance of traditional toys and games products in emerging markets is set to continue. Asia Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe are likely to be more reliable markets for retailers and manufacturers over the next few years, making them lucrative markets for the industry to target.