Which films create blockbuster toys?

Matthew Warneford
10
October
2011

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 look at toys licensed from the summer’s hit movies.

Working with a panel of 500 children aged 7-11, we see that  although children are still enjoying playing with toys from their favourite films, a box office smash doesn’t always equal a hit toy. The sweet-spot for marketeers is children aged seven-years-old as that age group is most interested in film licensed toys.

Harry Potter topped our chart, helped by being popular among all age groups, with seven year olds being the least engaged.

As the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was the final film in the ten-year series, it could be a little late for this age group to become fans of the franchise.

The most popular licensed toys with young children (seven to eight year olds) were Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean (42 per cent), followed by Kung Fu Panda (40 per cent).

Cars branded toys are most popular with seven-year-olds and 11-year-olds (28 per cent and 18 per cent respectively).

Although Transformers: Dark of the Moon is rated 12A, the toys were chosen by seven-year-olds more than any other age group in the sample. This indicates that many seven-year-olds saw the film with parents or simply found the idea of a transforming toy appealing, regardless of the film.

The comic book category, which includes Thor, Green Lantern and X-Men, was the least popular in our survey. These brands had relatively poor box office takings and were more popular with the higher age brackets.

Of the nine films surveyed, five were from franchises that were new or only up to their first sequel. From these, particular credit can go to Cars 2, Tangled and Kung Fu Panda 2, which managed to compete with the more established franchises.

With 52 per cent of children stating that they haven’t played with any licensed movie toys this summer, it would seem that these brands aren’t necessarily a guaranteed money-maker for the toy industry. This is especially true with the older children who, it could be suggested, are more attracted to the video game equivalents.

This article was originally published in the September issue of Toy News.

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