Largest Toy Markets in U.S. and Europe Show Continued Resilience during the First Half of 2010

Traditional toy sales in the United States remained largely unchanged during the first half of 2010, while revenue growth in Europe’s five largest toy markets – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. – experienced a five percent increase reports leading market research company The NPD Group.

In an August 6th press release, the NPD Group stated that revenue in the U.S. topped $7.771 billion during the first half of this year (January to June) versus $7.748 billion generated during the same time period in 2009. In Europe, sales for the first half of 2010 showed eight percent (8%) growth in the United Kingdom, followed by Spain (6 percent growth), Germany (4 percent), France (3 percent), and Italy (2 percent).

"With a strong first half like the one experienced in 2010, we are confident that 2010 will record solid single digit growth in Europe," said Frédérique Tutt, EuroToys analyst, The NPD Group.

NPD EuroToys analysts indicated that the market growth was driven, in part, by consumer reaction to the dry weather throughout Europe in June and a corresponding increase in sales for outdoor and sports toys.  The continued popularity of properties such as Bakugan and Star Wars are expected to see a further boost by the mid-year debut of one of this year's most successful animated films and fastest growing license, Toy Story 3.

Sales for the first half of the year represent approximately 30 percent of annual toy sales in Europe; in the U.S., first half of the year results typically equate to 35 percent of annual toy sales.