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Traditional and Electronic Games to the Fore in Poland's Toy Sector

24 December 2015 13:14

With its overall economic slowdown and its declining birthrate, many have understandably written off Poland as a potentially lucrative toy market. In such straitened times, it has been assumed, family spending will be purely focussed on necessities. A closer look at the consumer priorities of many Poles, however, reveals a slightly less pessimistic picture.

Polish parents are notoriously keen on spending money on their children, with Christmas, Children's Day, name days and birthdays all providing the perfect excuse to treat their offspring. With the country currently home to more than seven million children, the Polish toy market is now valued at around 2 billion PLN (US$527 million).

Overall, the figures for 2014 confounded expectations, with the country's toy market reporting a 10 year-on-year growth. This is the first year for a considerable time when growth has been in double figures. Typically, growth has averaged around 3-4 since 2008. Given the windfall nature of the last 12 months, however, the question for the industry is just how to sustain this level of growth.

This decided upswing has clearly been good news for mainland China, which – unsurprisingly – holds the dominant position in the Polish toy market. While other Southeast Asian territories – including Hong Kong and Taiwan – also occupy significant niches in the market, the combined value of their total imports is only around a hundredth of that of mainland manufacturers. According to Marek Jankowski, the editor of Branza Dziecieca, Poland's leading toys and baby products trade title, one of the key reasons behind China's preeminence has been its willingness to comply with the recent changes in EU regulations with regard to toy manufacturing, legislation that has had a huge impact on such imports all across Europe.

Overall, the leading brands in Polish toys are all global players, including HasbroLegoSimba and Zapf Creation. Among the distributors and importers heading up the sector are Inter KoboCobiImpulsLukasAxiomLechrisKathay-Haster, and Marko.

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