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NPDFunworld Forecasts Hot tous 2002 Press Release The NPD Group, Inc.
Monday October 21, 3:54 pm ET

NPDFunworld Forecasts Hot tous 2002
Press Release
The NPD Group, Inc.
Monday October 21, 3:54 pm ET
Item# npdfunforhot

Product Description

Untitled Document

Press Release
Source: The NPD Group, Inc.

NPDFunworld Forecasts Overall Flat Year for Traditional Toy Industry With Hot Pockets of Growth in Some Areas
Monday October 21, 3:54 pm ET

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 21, 2002--While overall sales of traditional toys are expected to be flat this year, there is some positive news for the $25 billion industry according to NPDFunworld(SM), a division of leading market information provider The NPD Group, Inc. Year-to-date sales (January through August 2002) show some hot-growth toy categories, brands and licenses.

There is also an emerging list of must-have toys for Holiday 2002, since more than fifty percent of annual toy sales occur in the fourth quarter.

Hot new growth categories include card games, action figures, building sets, dolls and special feature plush. In 2002, these top categories reflect the increased upward growth of licensed products, fueled by hot movies and nostalgic properties.

Star Wars items by Hasbro and Lego, and Spider-Man products by ToyBiz drove first-half licensed product sales growth in action figures and building sets. MGA Entertainment's Bratz dolls stole the top three spots in the doll category in August 2002 with three items: Bratz Assortment, Bratz Funk N Glow Assortment and Bratz Boyz Assortment. Mattel's Barbie as Rapunzel (introduced in June 2002) is climbing the charts. Fisher-Price's (Mattel) Chicken Dance Elmo, the number one plush toy in July and August 2002 is expected to be another must-have product during the 2002 holiday shopping season.

Licensed products have been popular this year, accounting for 25 percent of all first half 2002 sales. Seven of the top ten best selling toys introduced in 2002 are licensed products, with five Star Wars items ranking in the top ten.

"Star Wars is an excellent example of a license which appeals to both the younger and older collectors. We can expect to see more adult collectors sharing nostalgic trends with their children and adding a few prime pieces to their own collections," said Reyne Rice, director of marketing and communications, NPDFunworld. "An interesting twist in the market place is everything that is old is new again," said Rice.

Most of this year's top growth licenses have been around for more than ten years: Star Wars, Spider-Man, Scooby Doo, Batman, Barbie, Power Rangers and Nascar. Second half 2002 re-introductions of 20-year-old classics like Masters of the Universe, Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake will continue to develop this trend.

The emerging license, Yu-Gi-Oh!, based on a Japanese anime cartoon, is gaining momentum in the U.S. and will be a top choice for kids' gifts this holiday season. The Yu-Gi-Oh! Metal Raiders card game, introduced in June 2002, has already secured the number six spot on the list of top ten toys introduced this year.

Yu-Gi-Oh!, is predicted to equal or surpass the Pokemon craze among kids, with tweens as the primary target audience. Yu-Gi-Oh! was ranked 144th among top licensed properties in the U.S. in April 2002 and, by July 2002 it had skyrocketed to the number five top licensed property for the month.

      Top 10 Best Selling Toys (Jan-Aug. 2002) Introduced in 2002
                   Ranked According To Dollar Sales
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Rank  Item                   Manufacturer    Intro. Date    Avg. Price
----------------------------------------------------------------------
1     Star Wars
      Episode II Asst. 1     Hasbro          March '02      $5.66
----------------------------------------------------------------------
2     Star Wars II
      Electric Lightsabers   Hasbro          April '02      $20.29
----------------------------------------------------------------------
3     Star Wars
      Episode II Asst. 2     Hasbro          March '02      $5.67
----------------------------------------------------------------------
4     Star Wars Episode II
      Deluxe Figure  Asst.   Hasbro          March '02      $9.99
----------------------------------------------------------------------
5     Catch A Bubble         Spin Master     February '02   $3.03
----------------------------------------------------------------------
6     Yu-Gi-Oh! Metal
      Raiders                Konami          June '02       $3.47
----------------------------------------------------------------------
7     Basic Star Wars
      Jedi Starfighter       Lego Systems    February '02   $19.92
----------------------------------------------------------------------
8     Bionicle Tahnok        Lego Systems    January '02    $7.92
----------------------------------------------------------------------
9     Bionicle Kohrak        Lego Systems    January '02    $7.90
----------------------------------------------------------------------
10    Pokemon New            Wizards of
      Theme Deck             the Coast       February '02   $9.85
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: NPDFunworld(SM) TRSTS(R) Service

About NPDFunworld

NPDFunworld is the definitive online source for accessing essential market information and insights organized around business issues. Through powerful interactive features, NPDFunworld provides the toy and video games industries access to information from The NPD Group's point-of-sale tracking and world-class online consumer panel. It provides a personalized view into what is selling, where, to whom and why. As the only information source that does this, NPDFunworld makes information for some of today's most critical business decisions accessible and actionable across the enterprise.

About The NPD Group, Inc.

The NPD Group, Inc. (NPD) is a global market information company that measures product movement and consumer behavior across a broad range of industries -- apparel, automotive products, consumer electronics, cosmetics and fragrances, food, foodservice, footwear, housewares, information technology, interactive entertainment, toys and music. NPD's clients, many in the Fortune 500, use this insight to uncover market opportunities, strengthen channel relationships and benchmark industry performance. Since 1967, NPD has introduced numerous industry firsts, most recently combining and calibrating information from consumer panels and point-of-sale tracking via its flagship services, the NPD Worlds. The firm has offices and affiliations in 60 countries. For more information on The NPD Group, visit http://www.npd.com/.



Source: The NPD Group, Inc.




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