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December 2003 | Vol. II - No. 12
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NPD’s Holiday Predictions



Hulk Action Figure
Guessing which toys will take up the most space in Santa’s bag is a game everyone’s eager to play this time of year. We decided to let someone who knows, Christina Charasse, director of NPD Funworld, a market information company, give you her informed predictions.

TDmonthly: What´s the state of the toy industry going into the 2003 holiday season?

Christina Charasse: Dollar sales for Jan-Aug ´03 are $9.2 billion, which is down (-5%) v.s. YTD Aug ´02. Unit sales for Jan-Aug ´03 are 2 billion, which is up +1% v.s. YTD Aug ´02.

TDM: How do you expect sales to compare with last holiday season?

CC: Given that we have not seen the big toy, brand or license that will carry us through the holiday season thus far, we expect holiday sales to be flat. We have seen successful brands and licenses, but their growth has come at the expense of other products.


Care Bears
TDM: What are the most important trends you see happening in the toy industry right now?

CC: We expect Nostalgic properties to make it back this holiday season with the likes of Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Hulk, Ninja Turtles, Masters of the Universe, and Disney Princess.

With hot, trendy licenses such as Beyblade and Yu-Gi-Oh, as well as the above nostalgic licenses being revived, we expect to see sales of licensed products outpace the growth of the industry.


Bratz
We believe that the trend of sales to females will be on the upswing due to the anticipated success of products like Care Bears, My Little Pony, Fashion Polly, Bratz, Barbie Swan Lake, Strawberry Shortcake, Neopets and Disney Princess.

TDM: Now for the question everyone´s been waiting for: What are your picks for the hot toys of the 2003 holidays?


BeyBlade
Beyblade - Spinning tops from Hasbro that kids can build, customize, and battle against others.

Care Bears - Cute bears with their own special caring mission and a symbol on their tummy to match.


PowerTouch
Powertouch Learning System - Puts the power of reading at a child´s fingertips.

Barbie of Swan Lake - Inspired by the ballet, Swan Lake. Will include plush, board games and collectible dolls.

My Little Pony - Little ponies with playsets, tea parties or whatever a girl’s imagination can bring.

Leapfrog products will continue to perform well in the holiday season.

We expect the fashion doll category to heat up with competition between Bratz from MGA and the new Flavas dolls from Mattel.




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