Every month we work with leading Toy Industry publication, Toy News, to find out kids are up to: what are they playing with now and what will they want in the future. This month we’re looking at which new TV shows have the most potential as a toy.
We started by looking at kid’s shows which don’t currently have a toy licence. Here we find that CITV’s Almost Naked Animals has the most toy potential, followed by CBBC’s Pet Squad and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Indeed, the latter scored highest on popularity (kids who watched it) and toy preference (kids who wanted a licensed toy), putting it ahead of the rest. Of those aware of the show, 44 per cent of seven year-old girls and 43 per cent of nine year-old girls would look out for it on the shelves.
For the boys, Pet Squad toys were most attractive to eight year-olds – 44 per cent of boys aware of the programme would buy the toy. Plus, at the younger end we see Almost Naked Animals as a possible success with seven year-old boys, with 75 per cent of those aware of the programme interested in buying a related toy.
Awareness of the show is important to the potential success of the toy: The Suite Life of Zack and Cody was the only show without a current toy range to gain an awareness score of over 50 per cent, comparing well with both Yu-Gi-Oh (53 per cent) and Bakugan (43 per cent).
Unsurprisingly, the mighty SpongeBob Squarepants (94 per cent) and Doctor Who (90 per cent) were top of the awareness league. Plus, when asked which shows they actually watched, SpongeBob proved he is as resilient as he is absorbent, sitting at the top of the viewers’ league with 57 per cent of kids watching the show, followed by Horrid Henry (56 per cent) and Doctor Who (52 per cent). Such ongoing engagement with the show can influence the attractiveness of an associated toy line.
Aside from Zack and Cody, non-toy shows with decent viewing figures were My Goldfish is Evil (20 per cent), House of Anubis (13 per cent) and Almost Naked Animals (11 per cent). Unfortunately there was much less demand for a licensed toy line from My Goldfish is Evil and House of Anubis.
We closed by asking the children what they think of the toys they had played with from TV shows. When asked to score the toy ranges on a scale of one to five, no range dropped below a mean score of four. The top five were Doctor Who (4.7), In the Night Garden (4.7). iCarly (4.6), and Yu-Gi-Oh (4.6), with Bakugan, Horrid Henry and Peppa Pig tied for fifth place (4.5).
This article first appeared in the October issue of Toy News.