Summary of our market study

The global outdoor games market, part of the broader toy industry estimated at $130 billion in 2020, shows robust signs of growth, with expectations to reach approximately $440 billion by 2030, growing at a 4.7% annual rate from 2022. The COVID-19 crisis initially hit the market negatively, with lockdowns causing store closures and sales losses in Spring 2020. However, a significant rebound occurred post-lockdown, with sales spiking by 22% at the end of May 2020 in France, and an exceptional 77% increase over 2019 levels in April 2021, driven by the need for children's physical activity and parental teleworking. Despite France being the second-largest toy-consuming country in Europe in 2021 with a market value of €3.7 billion and a 5.1% increase in sales volume from 2020, it faced challenges with domestic production, with most toys being imported – notably, 22.57% from China in 2020.

Environmental concerns and eco-responsibility are affecting consumer behavior with a growing interest in eco-friendly and second-hand toys, despite higher costs. French regulation maintains strict safety standards for toys, ensuring the well-being of children, while the CPI indicates a rise in toy prices from an average of €17.28 due to factors such as oil prices influencing plastic costs. The French market features key players like Smoby and Nerf focusing on manufacturing and diverse distribution channels like specialized stores and pure online players adapting during the pandemic with the latter gaining market share.

The Burgeoning Demand and Seasonal Dynamics of France's Outdoor Play Market

Analyzing the trends within the French market for outdoor games and toys, it is clear that there is a significant demand for these products, which plays a critical role in the physical development and well-being of children. In France, the outdoor play segment accounts for a substantial volume of 29 million toys sold annually, which translates to approximately 12% of all games and toys sales in the nation. While the global market for toys stands strong, the outdoor play market is poised to benefit from this overall expansion.

Encouraging trends, such as the growing emphasis on physical activity for children, further bolster this segment, with figures indicating only around 6% to 14% of French children currently meeting the desired levels of physical activity. In the French domestic context, the outdoor playground equipment market witnessed significant market expansion of 38% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year. This places outdoor play at 8.8% of the toy market. Additionally, outdoor play is not exclusively a child's domain, as adults too engage in activities such as pétanque and racket sports.

Despite robust demand, the market is subject to strong seasonal fluctuations. The toy market in France sees over half of its sales in the end-of-year period, whereas interest in outdoor toys typically surges with the onset of spring and ebbs in autumn and winter. This seasonality is reflected in consumer search behaviors, which peak for outdoor games during warmer months.

On the environmental front, there is an increasing preference among consumers, especially younger adults, for eco-friendly toys despite the perceived premium costs. Second-hand toys are rising in popularity, reflecting a conscious shift towards more sustainable consumer practices.

On the regulatory side, stringent safety requirements governed by EU directives and national decrees, such as Decree no. 2010-166, ensure that toys meet high safety standards, with CE marking as a seal of compliance. The French market demonstrates a stable number of toy manufacturers with a rich heritage, which has remained relatively consistent despite international competition. Interestingly, while raw material costs and production overheads impact consumer prices, the average price of toys has experienced a year-on-year increase of around 8%.

Overall, the outdoor play market in France presents robust growth opportunities, an expanding demographic beyond young children, and a consumer base increasingly mindful of ecological considerations. 

Key Market Players Shaping the French Outdoor Play Industry

As we delve into the French outdoor play market, we witness a landscape powered by a mix of historic, innovative, and globally influential manufacturers. Each contributes uniquely to an industry where creativity meets physical activity, and traditional craftsmanship blends with modern consumer desires. Here's an exploration of the main companies fuelling the outdoor play experience for children and adults alike.

  • Smoby: Hailing from the picturesque Jura region of France, Smoby stands tall as a beacon of French manufacturing prowess. Renowned for its plastic toys that are both vibrant and durable, Smoby ensures that outdoor play remains a staple of childhood joy. A trip down a Smoby slide or a day spent playing in one of their playhouses can spark endless imaginations and physical adventures for kids.


  • Nerf: As a titan of the American toy industry, Nerf is synonymous with action-packed outdoor fun. Best known for their range of safe, foam-based blasters, Nerf's products encourage active play and dexterity. Their presence in the market is a testament to the universal appeal of engaging in family-friendly combat games that test skill and precision.


  • Goliath: Crossing continents, Goliath finds its roots in Israel and has since blossomed into a global powerhouse. While they're revered for classic board games like Rummikub and Triominos, Goliath also brings a spark to the outdoor game sector with inventive and interactive games designed for group play and outdoor activities.


  • Vilac: With a legacy embedded in the Jura forestry, Vilac is a brand that marries the charm of wood with the spirit of French toy-making tradition. Their outdoor toys not only encourage physical play but are also crafted with an eye for sustainability and timelessness. A Vilac skipping rope isn't merely a toy; it's a piece of art that moves with the rhythm of nature.


  • Vulli: Perhaps most famous for Sophie La Girafe, a must-have for infants worldwide, Vulli isn't one to shy away from the outdoors. Their array of products ensures even the smallest family members can enjoy safe, stimulating outdoor play with items designed for early development and tactile exploration.


  • Ludi: Emerging from the serene landscape of Touraine, Ludi is a fixture in the nursery product scene. However, this company's innovation extends beyond the nursery, providing colorful play tents and other outdoor equipment that become personal playgrounds and secret fortresses for children looking to explore the great outdoors.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Outdoor games are also known as jeux de plein air: they describe any type of game that takes place outdoors. They are quite often aimed at young or very young users, but some are intended for a wider spectrum, such as pétanque. Sometimes they require no special equipment or purchase (hopscotch, 1.2.3 sun, etc.). In addition, outdoor games play an active role in a child's development, stimulating balance, coordination and spatial awareness.

This study will therefore focus on outdoor games requiring equipment, such as swings and trampolines, or games like Mölky, pétanque, spikeball, Frisbee or jokari... Physical activity is important for children, and the proportion of French children who take part in at least one hour of physical activity a day is 6% for girls and 14% for boys, compared with EU averages of 10 and 20% respectively.

Outdoor play represents 29 million toys sold per year, or 12% of annual sales of games and toys in France. This segment is not very seasonal, compared with others whose activity is concentrated at key periods (Christmas, for example), and therefore enables sales to be spread more evenly over the year.

1.2 The global market

The outdoor playground equipment market is included in the toy market as a whole. The toy market is in good health, with steady revenue growth since **** after a period of decline in the early ****s. Fortune Business Insights estimates the size of the global toy market at $*** billion by ****.

Global toy ...

1.3 The domestic market

The outdoor playground equipment market includes a wide variety of different references aimed at different target customers, both children and adults. In ****, the outdoor play market was worth *** million euros, and in the first quarter of ****, it grew by **%.

In ****, *** million toys were sold in France, down *% on the previous year. ...

1.4 Imports and exports of outdoor toys and games

A large proportion of games and toys purchased in France are imported. French imports of toys and games will total *.* billion euros in ****. China is predictably France's leading toy exporter, accounting for **.**% of French imports.

Main countries supplying toys and games France, ****, as % of total Source: ****

France also exports the toys ...

1.5 The impact of the health crisis

The Covid **** health crisis affected first negatively and then positively the toy and outdoor play market more specifically.

Spring **** was a difficult time for the outdoor play market. The closure of toy stores, schools and parks severely penalized this market. However, the deconfinement in May enabled a spectacular recovery : by May, ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The French outdoor play market: not just for young children

The following diagram shows the age distribution of toy sales. Although children under ** account for over **% of toy and game sales, it's important not to overlook the over-**s market. The neologism"kidulte" has been coined to describe people over ** who buy toys for their own consumption. By ****, this clientele will ...

2.2 A market marked by seasonality

The toy market is buoyed by the end-of-year festivities, as the graph below shows. **.*% of sales in this market are generated in the last three months of the year.

Breakdown of toy purchases over the year France, ****, in Source: ****

Conversely, consumer interest in outdoor toys seems to follow a cycle, with ...

2.3 "Made in France" toys have the wind in their sails

The definition of Made in France (***) in the French Customs Code is clear: "Made in France is any product for which the last substantial stage has been carried out in France, and for which at least **% of the added value originates in the area". The health crisis of **** had a very ...

2.4 Environmental concerns are becoming increasingly important

The ecological awareness of the French has been growing in recent years, encouraging the emergence of new consumer behaviors: buying eco-responsible toys or from second-hand platforms.

Younger adults aged between ** and ** generally have a good opinion of eco-responsible toys, which they feel have a good impact on ecological awareness: over **% of ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The French outdoor playground market is driven by several major companies

The outdoor play market follows the same organization and has a structure relatively close to that of the toy market in which it is included. In ****, outdoor and sports games will represent the fourth largest category in total toy and game sales.

Games and toys sales by category France, ****, in millions ...

3.2 French production

However, France does have a number of toy manufacturers on its territory, some with very long histories. In the face of stiff competition from China, the number of French toy manufacturing companies is relatively stable after a spectacular peak in ****.

Number of companies producing toys France, ****-**** Source: ****

Growth in production ...

3.3 French toy retailing: a sector in the throes of change

In France, toys and games are sold by a number of different players and through a variety of different channels.

Games and toys are sold through a distribution channel organized around three main players:

specialized trade: this is the main toy distribution channel, with a market share of **%, and is dominated ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Analysis of raw materials and consumer prices

The Consumer Price Index (***) is the instrument used to measure inflation. It is used to estimate the average change in prices of products consumed by households between two given periods. The graph below shows the evolution of this index between April **** and February **** for games, toys and hobbies.

Consumer price index ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Current regulations

Because toys are products intended for children, sometimes very young, they are subject to very strict regulations designed to protect the safety of their users. These regulations are designed to protect children against risks and injuries arising from "normal and foreseeable" toy use. The European legislator therefore imposes precise regulations that ...

5.2 Extension of regulations on advertising to children

Since January *, ****, advertising in programs aimed at children under ** on public service channels has been banned. It also applies ** minutes before the start of the program and ** minutes after its end. The ban on advertising in children's programs applies only to public service channels.

Among other European countries, Sweden is a ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Market segmentation

  • Hasbro
  • Mattel
  • Namco Bandai Entertainment France
  • King Jouet
  • Ludendo La Grande Récré
  • Smoby
  • Joué Club
  • Vilac
  • Simba Dickie Group
  • Maped
  • Mollky
  • Jeujura
  • Janod
  • Écoiffier
  • Ludi
  • Djeco
  • Quali Cité

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Revenue trends in the global toy market
  • Ranking of the most valued toy brands
  • Comparison of toy market values in four countries
  • Share of outdoor play equipment in toy and game sales
  • Share of outdoor play equipment in toy and game sales
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Latest news

King Jouet opens its third Paris store | King Jouet sets up in Paris - 09/09/2023
  • Third King Jouet store in Paris, located at 13 avenue des Ternes, 17th arrondissement.
  • the company's 15th downtown store since 2019.
  • Three new stores to open soon on former La Grande Récré sites.
Three months after its takeover by Joué Club, La Grande Récré details its recovery plan - 09/09/2023
  • La Grande Récré has a total of 137 stores.
  • Sales for La Grande Récré are 150 million euros including VAT.
  • when Récréaclub took over La Grande Récré, sales were down 25%.
  • The integrated Grande Récré network comprises 89 stores.
  • The Grande Récré franchise network comprises 48 stores, 18 of which are international.
  • La Grande Récré currently has 130 corners.
Hasbro sells its film and entertainment business to Lionsgate - 04/08/2023
  • Hasbro's eOne Film & TV division has been sold to Lionsgate for $500 million (458 million euros).
  • Hasbro had acquired eOne in 2019 for $4 billion.
  • In 2021, Hasbro sold the music business to Blackstone for $385 million.
  • In 2021, eOne generated sales of $829 million, representing around 14% of Hasbro's sales.
Barbie: The Billion Dollar Movie - 01/08/2023
  • The "Barbie" film generated $775 million in worldwide box-office receipts, including $351 million in the USA and Canada alone.
  • It will be the third highest-grossing film at the global box office in 2023.
  • The Mattel Group has announced fourteen other film projects.
King Jouet makes progress. - 31/07/2023
  • The French toy market recorded a decline in value of around 5% in the first half of 2023.
  • King Jouet has gained 0.5 market share points since the beginning of 2023, bringing its total market share to 14%.
  • King Jouet finalized the purchase of Maxi Toys, a Belgian toy retailer, in mid-2020.
  • The Group transformed 92 French Maxi Toys stores into King Jouet.
  • It also plans to convert 25 Belgian stores under its own name.
  • King Jouet has opened seven second-hand stores, called King Okaz.
  • King Jouet group consolidated sales in 2022: € 410 million (excluding affiliates).
  • Group net income in 2022: €10m.
  • The group has 390 stores worldwide, including 330 in France (245 branches).
JouéClub has launched its second hand. - 18/05/2022
  • Operation "troc O' Joué" will run from May 30 to June 18 in some thirty of its stores.
  • The brand had already tested this concept last September in a handful of pilot stores.
  • The service is reserved for holders of the company's loyalty card, the Carte Magique JouéClub.
  • The store will offer a trade-in price in the form of a voucher valid for one year.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Namco Bandai Entertainment France
King Jouet
Ludendo La Grande Récré
Joué Club
Simba Dickie Group

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