Spielwarenmesse: Toy market the Netherlands: steady demand for games & puzzles

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Spielwarenmarkt Niederlande: konstante Nachfrage nach Spielen & Puzzles


Toy market the Netherlands: steady demand for games & puzzles

from Euromonitor International

Construction Toys, Action figures as well as games as puzzles are among the strongest performing categories in the Dutch toy market. In regard of sales channels, online shops are becoming more popular and a serious competitor for brick and mortar businesses. Get to know the Dutch toy market with some exclusive key facts.

Traditional toys in the Netherlands continue to be dominated by a select group of international manufacturers. Eight companies (LEGO, Mattel, Hasbro, MGA Entertainment, Playmobil, Ravensburger, VTech Electronics and Disney) jointly account for more of than half of total value sales in traditional toys. The biggest local manufacturers are Jumbo Nederland and 999 Games. Local companies rely mainly on their appeal in traditional games and puzzles.

LEGO owes its frontrunner status to its long-standing solid presence in the country, where it remains the undisputed leader in the important construction category.

In games and puzzles, Hasbro and Ravensburger continue to lead. The two companies pursue very different sales strategies in this category. Hasbro relies on the enduring popularity of a few classic boardgames such as Monopoly, Risk and Levensweg (The Game of Life), which target adults. Ravensburger, meanwhile, invests a great deal in games and puzzles aimed at younger children.

Top 5 toy companies in the Netherlands; market shares in %
Top 5 toy companies in the Netherlands; market shares in % (Illustration: Spielwarenmesse; Source: Euromonitor International)

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.

Distribution of toys and games in the Netherlands by format
Distribution of toys and games in the Netherlands by format (Illustration: Spielwarenmesse; Source: Euromonitor International)

This is an extract from Euromonitor International’s Toys and Games in the Netherlands report. Find the complete report with further market research results here.

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Euromonitor International

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