Despite the corona lockdown, the toy industry is up according to estimates by the Federal Association of Toy Retailers. An increase of around four percent is expected there for 2021. Even in the second year of the pandemic, toys are thus proving to be a growth trend that apparently could hardly be contained by restrictions. 

Even in the second year of the corona pandemic, toys are a real constant: “The pandemic turns us into gamers. Despite the lockdown in the first half of the year, consumers spent more money on toys. People couldn't travel or go out and therefore continued to invest in board games, puzzles and handicraft materials, ”says Steffen Kahnt, Managing Director of the Spielwaren Handelsverband Spielwaren (BVS). The BVS expects a four percent increase in sales across all sales channels. This would mean that the domestic market would grow from 3,7 billion euros in 2020 (at retail prices, based on consumer panel npdgroup Germany) to at least 3,8 billion euros in 2021.

Success with licenses: Harry Potter and Star Wars

The stationary retailers had to close their stores for a full five months and could almost only sell goods online. They have further optimized their online sales channels accordingly. “The pandemic has catapulted us into the future as retailers. The wheel will not turn back in e-commerce. For the toy trade, the future lies in the combination of stationary excellence and online competence. However, no website can keep up with the shopping experience in a real toy store, ”says BVS Chairman Wieland Sulzer.

 In view of the tense delivery situation, retailers are starting the Christmas business with cautious optimism: Kahnt: “The retailers have only stocked up on goods. Because the disruptions in the supply chains also have an impact on toy retailers - as do the increased freight costs. Manufacturers have already made price adjustments and postponed delivery dates. ”In order not to become a desperate buyer, Kahnt recommends buying the toy of your choice as early as possible. “With above-average popular products, there can quickly be a bottleneck. But: No child will go away empty-handed at Christmas because of this. "

According to the industry association, adventure and experimentation are the toy trends for Christmas 2021 - and licenses are also apparently at the top of the wish lists, especially among fans of Star Wars and Harry Potter.

Experimentation, sustainability and adventure are the big themes of the hottest toys in 2021. “Whether it's growing organic plants in your own greenhouse or creating a playhouse with solar modules - toys that promote environmental awareness among young scientists are all the rage. But also classics like the adventure game with dinosaurs, volcanic eruptions & Co. are indispensable this year ”, says Kahnt.

 In the licensing area, Star Wars and Harry Potter continue to shine at the top, closely followed by Disney's Frozen and the pre-school license Paw Patrol. Super Mario is being pushed hard by Lego and Carrera. The sales of the classic games also show that families are playing more again: Skip-Bo, Uno and Monopoly are very popular.  

The evaluation of the BVS data shows one thing above all: You don't necessarily need a reason to buy a toy. Although birthdays (21 percent) and Christmas (25 percent) are welcome reasons to buy, in 36 percent of cases the purchase was made "just because". Incidentally, the Internet dominates overall as a gigantic shopping hall – 54 percent of those surveyed shop online. At 16 percent, brick-and-mortar specialty stores are only slightly ahead of consumer markets (14 percent).

Among the toy companies, Mattel leads with a 22 percent increase in sales, far behind Lego (13 percent), Kosmos (14 percent) and Boxine (13 percent). Ravensburger achieved four percent growth in months 1 to 10 of 2021.

Even if it often appears, electronic toys are not the star among Germans' toy purchases: they only account for one percent. The construction kits segments are much more populated, with an increase of 13 percent for a total of 17 percent in the overall market. Games and puzzles make up 16 percent of the market and grew by twelve percent between January and October. Also in demand: action figures - the plus is 13 percent, but the market share is only two.

The BVS represents the interests of toy retailers of all sales channels and company sizes in Germany. It is affiliated with the German Trade Association - HDE, whose regional associations provide the delegates to the BVS general assembly.

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