Toy licenses to gain momentum
Licensing is generally considered an increasingly important phenomenon in traditional toys in the Netherlands. It is estimated that in some categories (e.g. dress-up and role play and plush) licensed products accounted for around one third of total value. Manufacturers particularly use the publicity generated by the launches of large movie franchises to create awareness of new products and boost demand for them.
Licensed products feature prominently in construction and action figures and accessories, but also have a notable presence in others. Overall, tie-in products from international movie franchises clearly lead sales in most categories. Licensed products based on popular TV and cartoon characters play a role in products targeting younger children, however. For example, in plush toys there were licensed products from popular international and local cartoon characters such as Woezel en Pip or Dikkie Dik.
Popular toy categories
Games and puzzles is the second most important category in traditional toys. Games and puzzles maintain broad appeal as a favored traditional pastime with a wide age range of Dutch consumers. Children are encouraged to play boardgames and do puzzles to stimulate their cognitive development through play, but games are also a popular activity when families and friends get together.
Action figures and accessories is one of the best-performing categories. It benefits on the one hand from the strong presence of Playmobil in the Netherlands, with the company’s products prominently available both in large specialist store chains such as Bart Smit and leading online retailer Bol.com. On the other hand, sales are driven by newly launched products from movie licenses.
In terms of price platform, pocket money (purchases under €4.99) continued to increase its value share slightly. Dutch children generally receive pocket money from an early age. Model vehicles remained a category with a broad product selection for young boys in the pocket money segment, with various types of vehicles offered by popular brands such as SIKU.
Action figures and accessories as well as construction toys are expected to remain among the best performing categories in traditional toys. Both will benefit from the growing reliance on licensed products from popular movie franchises to generate sales momentum.
Relatively vigorous growth is expected in remote control toys. Rising sales will be driven by a growing demand among Dutch consumers for drones. Syma Toys Industrial is currently one of the leading manufacturers of toy drones in the Netherlands, and its products are prominently on sale at internet retailer Bol.com.