Toy market Europe

Dynamic market situation in Europe

The toy industry is one of the most dynamic economic sectors in Europe. About 60 % of the toys on the market are new products – and this every year. There are some 5,000 toy companies within the EU, employing 220,000 people in this sector.


Sales, imports and exports

Sales of traditional toys in the European retail trade amounted to € 15.8 billion in 2011. The five leading toy markets in the EU – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Great Britain – accounted for the largest share. Toys for babies and preschoolers are the most popular, followed by dolls and soft toys, as well as outdoor and sports toys.

The 27 EU countries export classic toys worth € 1.13 billion a year (2011) to non-EU-countries. The main markets are the USA, Switzerland and Russia. Toy imports amounted to € 6.42 billion in 2011. The main supplier of these is China with 90.7 % of imports.

Sales channels for classic toys

Main sales channel in Europe is the retail toy trade: The toyshops hold a market share of roughly 35 %, followed by e-commerce with a share of 32 % and supermarkets with 14 %. Toy sales via the Internet are experiencing an upward trend in Europe. It is expected that this development will still continue the next years.

A characteristic feature of the toy market in Europe is its seasonality. The majority of sales (approx. 60 %) are made during the Christmas period (November/December).

European families value baby and infant articles

Baby and infant articles are the best-selling toys in the EU, followed by dolls games and puzzles as well as outdoor toys. Together these categories generate more than half of all toy revenues in Europe.

Estimated 79 million children under 14 years live in Europe (2013). This is some 15 % of the total population. The falling birth rates and the aging of society result in new challenges for the European toy industry. This puts a focus on new target groups such as adults.