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Plush Tops The Toy Charts

With Toy Fair at London’s Olympia currently in full swing, the BTHA and The NPD Group revealed their annual industry insights as the show opened its doors yesterday (24 January).

Against a challenging economic backdrop in 2022 that saw UK toy sales decline 3% to £3.6bn, it was traditional toy categories – plush (soft toys), building sets, action figures and vehicles – which drove toy sales, with all four categories seeing positive growth during the year.

However, the best performing category of 2022 was plushup a significant 29% YoY, which delivered exceptional results for the toy industry due to its popularity with a wide audience, and its collectability appeal.  

“Last year, new product innovations were vital to driving sales in the UK toy industry which led to growth in the plush category. With a strong line-up of new releases for 2023, the UK toy industry has signs to be optimistic about the year ahead,” stated Kerri Atherton, head of public affairs at the BTHA.

Licensed toys grew for the fourth consecutive year, up by 5.5%, now accounting for 31% of the market – the highest ever share. Meanwhile, the average selling price of a toy, now at £10.54, shows that toys remain accessible all year round purchases.

In-store purchases increased throughout the year, with offline sales accounting for 51% of the UK toy market, an increase of 6% from 2021. Online sales are still ahead of where they were before the pandemic, when online sales accounted for just 35% percent of the market.

Toy Fair runs at London’s Olympia until tomorrow (26 January). Visit

Top: Toy Fair at London’s Olympia.

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