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Brand View Christmas Toy Tracker 2015

By Chris Elliott

Christmas 2015 is likely to be a bumper year for retailers, with Christmas spending expected to reach £16.5 billion, up 2.5 percent from 2014 (Webloyalty).

Falling food and fuel prices throughout the year have left shoppers with more money in their pockets this festive season.

Non-essential spending increased to 6.6 percent this month, from 5.8 percent in September, and is higher than at any point in 2014 (City A.M.).

Despite these welcome reports, Argos and Homebase owner, Home Retail Group, issued a pre-Christmas profit warning last month wiping £200 million off of the company value, as the shares dived 16 percent. Home Retail Group CEO, John Walden, admitted the arrival of the late November sales tradition from the US made the season difficult to predict (City A.M.).

42 percent of shoppers admitted to making purchases on Black Friday that they would have otherwise made later in the season (WebLoyalty).

The Centre for Retail Research estimates that this year total Black Friday sales will reach £1.39 billion and sales over the entire weekend will near £3.5 billion.

Brand View Christmas Toy Tracker

The positive Christmas spending forecast will be music to the ears of toy manufacturers, with the Christmas season being the most profitable time of year for many.

In June, Hamleys announced its top ten toys for Christmas 2015. Once again, Disney Frozen merchandise made the cut, two years after the film’s release, with the Skate & Sing Elsa doll on the top 10 list.

Brand View will be tracking Hamleys’ top ten toys for Christmas for the next six weeks, to monitor how retailers are promoting these products in the build up to Christmas.

We have reviewed the pricing and promotions in Argos, Toys R Us, The Entertainer (TheToyShop.com), Tesco Direct, George and Smyths Toys on 11 November.

Smyths Toys was sole or joint cheapest retailer for six of the ten products. George (Asda Direct) was cheapest on five products. However, the Peppa Pig Once Upon A Time: Princess Rose Peppa Plush Toy and the Wacky-tivities Kinetic Sand Box Set were out of stock.

The Entertainer listed seven of Hamleys’ top ten toys – it was sole or joint most expensive retailer for five of the seven products it listed.

hamleys christmas toys 2015
Brand View Daily Prices and Promotions 11 November 2015


Brand View will also be tracking the Toy Retail Association’s (TRA) top 12 Christmas toys. Three toys were commonly listed on both Hamleys and TRA Christmas lists – the Little Live Pets Cleverkeet, Flair Shopkins Scoops Ice Cream Truck Playset and Vivid Imaginations Thunderbirds Are Go Interactive Tracy Island Playset.

Unlike Hamleys, TRA listed three Star Wars toys, which could be big sellers following the film’s UK release on 17 December. The list also includes a Disney Frozen Sing A Long With Elsa doll, as opposed to the Skate & Sing Elsa doll on Hamleys’ list.

tra toy tracker 2015
Brand View Daily Prices and Promotions 11 November 2015


Smyths Toys was again the sole or joint cheapest retailer for six products, the greatest number of any retailer. Asda was sole or joint cheapest for five products, but again two were out of stock – the Star Wars The Force Awakens Jedi Master Lightsaber and Vtech Toot Toot Friends Busy Sounds Discovery House.

The Entertainer was the sole or joint most expensive retailer for nine of the eleven products listed. However, it was the cheapest retailer for the Star Wars The Force Awakens Battle Action Millennium Falcon at £95.99.

Argos had the joint cheapest price for LEGO Star Wars Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle at £82.99, along with Smyths Toys and Toys R Us. However, the Argos listing omitted Kylo Ren’s second name which could potentially confuse shoppers and result in lost sales to a competitor retailer.

Lego Star Wars
Argos website 12 November 2015


Stay tuned for the next Brand View Christmas Toy Tracker update following Black Friday.

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