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1.1 Definition and scope of study

Many toy manufacturers use well-known names, usually from film and animation studios to increase their sales. Licensed toys thus include all products for which a contract for the transfer of rights of use of the brand has been signed between one company and another.

In practice, the main licensed toys have the appearance of Disney, Marvel or Pixar heroes, but also Harry Potter or Pokémon to name but a few. They can be found in all categories of toys, constructions, dolls, plush toys, figurines..

This study will focus on so-called "traditional" toys and games, i.e. we will include, for example, board games in this study, but we will exclude licensed video games, which are the main competitors of toys.

In a declining French toy market, licensed products are resisting this trend and are becoming increasingly important each year among all children's products. Major toy manufacturers therefore make extensive use of licences to support the sales of their products, the Lego case being an example.

Nevertheless, the poor prospects for the toy market in general over the next five years may hinder the progress of licensed toys partly due to the development of video games and other smartphone and tablet gaming applications.

1.2 Increasing share of licensed toys worldwide

Licensed toys now represent an increasingly important part of the traditional toy market; according to Euromonitor , the licensed toy market is expected to grow by **% between **** and **** worldwide to reach $** billion in sales
North America is the main development region for this market, representing the largest market share (***) of global sales ...

1.3 In France, a growing sector in a market at half mast

In France, the market for traditional toys is progressing slowly as a whole; according to a Euromonitor report, total toy sales reached €*.** billion in ****, compared with €*.** billion in ****, representing a CAGR of *.*% over this period. In addition, Euromonitor's forecasts for this market for **** point to an annual growth rate of -*.*% ...


2.1 Demographics in France: a determinant of demand

The total number of births in France
According to the INSEE in **** there were exactly ***,*** births in France with slightly more boys than girls (***). This is the lowest number of births since ****; the highest number of births was in **** with ***,*** live births.
According to estimates by iNSEE , the number of births ...

2.2 recent and upcoming film releases

The latest movie releases of animated films are a key determinant for the evolution of licensed toy sales; indeed, the release of a new opus of a successful saga, or the release in theatres of the latest Disney is immediately synonymous with derivative products and therefore with licensed toys . (***) Moreover, the ...

2.3 Dissemination and advertising to children

Advertising also plays a major role in children's envy, especially on licensed toys, which have a higher added value (***).
According to a survey conducted by the FIFG in **** about advertising to children, to **% of respondents, this would have a "very strong" influence on children regarding toys and entertainment products.
In this ...

2.4 French consumers

In ****, the early childhood toy segment (***) accounted for the largest market share, at **,*%. Games and toys for adults still represent **.*% of sales.

Source: ****
According to the le Figaro In ****, the average budget per child for Christmas gifts was *** euros, up **% from the previous year. About **% of parents buy between * and * gifts ...

2.5 Internet and smartphones: two market drivers

Access to smartphones is a factor that has a significant impact on the number of licensed toys to come. Indeed, according to Euromonitor , **% of households in Western Europe and North America will have a smartphone by ****, against **% in Asia Pacific which will directly influence the number of licenses. It is also ...


3.1 Key figures for toy sales in France

The sale of licensed toys in France must be analysed in the more global context of the sale of traditional games and toys, a term that marks the difference from video games.
In ****, the sale of licensed toys represented **.*% of the traditional toys market. [***] This segment combined *.** billion euros in sales ...

3.2 The main toy companies in total sales

In ****, Hasbro won the first place among the various companies on the market for traditional games and toys; it owned **.*% market share , in front of LEGO with **.*% market share.
With the top five companies in the market having only **.*% market share, it can be considered that the market share is the ...

3.3 The different distribution channels

This is a trend that has continued to grow in recent years: toy purchases on the Internet are becoming increasingly important among the various possible distribution channels In ****, **.*% of toy sales in France were made on the Internet, compared to **.*% in **** [***]
Of course, the specialty brands in the sale of toys ...

3.4 Cyclicality of sales and common interest

As explained in the annual report of the French Federation of Toy and Childcare Industries, issue **** most of the toy sales are made during the *th quarter of the year and more particularly in December. In ****, **% of toy sales were made between October and December including only **% in the last month ...


4.1 The most popular licenses

The year **** was a very special one for toy retailers as it allowed a huge franchise to release a new opus. Star Wars episode VII was released after it was acquired by Disney. Two years earlier, Walt Disney promoted Frozen, a major commercial success (***) and whose financial impact on the licensed ...

4.2 The Lego example

The Danish construction games brand has benefited significantly from the licensing business model to boost its sales
At the beginning of the ****s, Lego's turnover fell to a historic level under the $*.* billion . The concept of bricks to be assembled is struggling to develop in the face of the the rise ...

4.3 Licensors and licensees

Some game and toy brands are both buyers and sellers of licenses, or license-in and licence-out. There is of course the case of Lego with derivatives for the video game or amusement park industry for example (***), but, more surprisingly, the case of TF* [***]Indeed, this group has TF* License which manages ...


5.1 Very strict European standards on toys

The regulation of children's toys in the European Union is one of the strictest in the world
Before marketing their toys in France and Europe, manufacturers must ensure that their toys are designed and manufactured in accordance with safety standards defined by directive ****/**/EC relating to the products designed. [***]
The conformity ...

5.2 Information on licences and related products

The principle of the licence for manufacturers is to sign an agreement with the holders of the rights to distribute brands and heroes . They are therefore the subject of tough negotiations with the various toy manufacturers; generally, they are valid for a period of three years and allocated for product categories ...

5.3 Extension: regulation related to advertising to children

Since * January ****, advertising in programmes aimed at children under ** years of age on public service channels has been prohibited. It is also applied ** minutes before the start of the program and ** minutes after its end . Banning advertising in children's programmes is only applied on public service channels.
Among the other European ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Mattel
  • Hasbro
  • Namco Bandai Entertainment France
  • Tomy France
  • Lego France
  • Playmobil France
  • The Disney Store France
  • Dreamworks Animation
  • Pixar
  • Marvel
  • La Grande Récré
  • JouéClub
  • King Jouet

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