UK retail expects toys-to-life growth as LEGO enters the fray

Leading UK games retailers expect the toys-to-life genre to get even bigger this year with the arrival of LEGO Dimensions.

Warner Bros’ game will unite LEGO characters such as Gandalf and Batman, and is coming to Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U on September 29th.

The title will join new entries in the Skylanders and Disney Infinity IPs, as well as continued releases from Nintendo’s Amiibo range.

We saw strong results on Infinity and Skylanders last year and they’re both showing growth,” said Lorna Simpson, toys-to-life content manager at GAME.

Amiibo got off to a great start. It’s shown there’s room for more players in toys-to-life. With LEGO Dimensions we’re expecting toys-to-life to continue to grow in 2015.”

ShopTo senior buyer Alison Fraser added: LEGO Dimensions has all the ingredients to sell very well. As an online retailer, packing is always a challenge with these items, but pre-orders will dictate what size the range needs to be.”

But there remain challenges for UK stores, including the high price of products such as LEGO Dimensions, plus the demands on shelf space. There are now four major toys-to-life ranges, which will arrive alongside other space-demanding products such as Guitar Hero Live and Rock Band 4.

LEGO is a recognised brand outside of gaming. Dimensions has a real opportunity to broaden toys-to-life,” said Simply Games purchasing director Steve Moore.

The price of a Starter Pack is potentially too high to really maximise this opportunity.”

Tesco’s assistant buyer for gaming Samantha Pettit added: We’ve seen strong growth in the toys-to-life market this year.

Space can be an issue. But with support from suppliers and clever merchandising, we can bring the strongest brands.”

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