Toy sellers expect record holiday sales

Photo: Alan Chia, CC BY-SA 2.0

Toy sellers expect pre-Christmas sales to hit record numbers this year, reports news website iDnes. The Association for Toy and Play sales suggests sales could be the highest since the economic crisis of 2008.

Photo: Alan Chia, CC BY-SA 2.0
There’s one mantra which rings particularly true for toy and games sellers which is ‘There’s Christmas… and then there’s the rest of the year.’ The holiday season, not to make too fine a point of it, is the very lifeblood for many – a boost for long slow months – and the one time of the year sales are guaranteed to go through the roof.

A hugely-anticipated event, such as the release of the new Star Wars film on December 18, can be a godsend with no shortage of brand toys, figures, figurines, costumes, gear, and toy weapons. In the past, that place was held by Cars, or Toy Story or Barbie.

Sometimes it is an unexpected hit out of the blue: intelligent plasticine, when it first emerged, was a major hit for one Prague seller who was among the first to stock the item when it was first marketed. When they sold out all of the stock, the seller placed a remaining empty canister in the shop window with the sign “Invisible plasticine” with some passers-by doing a double-take, and at least one, the seller assured us, who had asked if he could “see it”.

This year’s hit, according to iDnes, will likely again be longtime leader Lego. At the same time, interest has reportedly gone-up for Czech made toys, which now reportedly make up 15 percent of sales. The Association for Toy and Play expects spending on both foreign and Czech-made items to be robust. Toys and games for children account for 30 to 70 percent of all spending on presents at Christmas. Not to be taken lightly.

The head of Dino Toys Jan Šlemín told iDnes, meanwhile, that in his view Czech consumers are often fairly conservative, often buying games or toys for their children which they once played with themselves. He cited, as a case in point, a longtime Czech Monopoly clone Dostihy a sázky (Horse Racing and Betting) where one acquires thoroughbreds instead of properties. Člověče nezlob se, a variant of Ludo, also remains popular, although, over the last five to 10 years, designer board games by a number of Czech publishers and distributors have made significant inroads, publishing both international and domestic designs. And, electronics, namely child-friendly versions of mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and robot-like furry companions are also expected to be top sellers.