DOLLS are proving once again to be favourite toy during the Christmas sales period with a 2% annual rise in toy purchases predicted by the Spanish Association of Toy Manufacturers(AEFJ).

Other popular items include construction-based toys and board games.

Games aimed at adults who are still children at heart are maintaining an upward trend and accounts for 25% of the toy market.

The Christmas campaign represents 60% of total annual sales amidst a background of inflation making families conscious about costs.

AEFJ president, Jose Antonio Pastor, said that though 2023 ‘has not been very positive’, toys become a ‘basic and indispensable’ item for Christmas.

“The Christmas period is very concentrated which makes our toy sales the most seasonal in the European Union,” said Antonio Pastor.

This time of the year is crucial for a toy sector that has faced several issues since the Covid pandemic struck in 2020.

There was a major supply crisis as well as the current economic situation plus conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.

“We live in a globalised world and anything anywhere can paralyse trade,” Antonio Pastor commented.

“Situations that cannot be foreseen makes management very difficult in seasonal sectors such as ours where you are manufacturing and storing throughout the year to sell over just a few weeks.”

Keeping price rises down is another key factor in the 2023 Christmas period.

Luis Verdegal, CEO of Alicante area toy maker, Injusa, said: “We are trying to adapt to the new reality of the market because the circumstances are what they are and we have been changing production to reflect this new situation.”

The AEFJ’s toy consumer price index for October reported an increase of 0.8%- well down on the general inflation rate of 3.4%.

The sector says they’ve made major efforts to minimise price hikes or even keep prices unchanged so as to offer a competitive product at a difficult economic time for families.

“It is not viable for us to raise prices because sales would fall substantially,” said Luis Verdegal.

“We are trying to optimise our production processes to maintain prices or keep increases at minimal levels,” he concluded.

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