Published: Tue, 23 December 2014
Ireland’s reputation for being a high-tech hub leading research and innovation could help spark a new wave of digital toy manufacturing in Europe, according to Sean Kelly MEP.
“Europe is the largest toy market in the world with EU manufactured traditional toys and games valued at €16.5 billion in 2011 or 28% of global sales, followed by the United States (15.6b), Japan (4.3b), China (3.9b) and Brazil (2.2b).
“In order to boost manufacturing we have to move with the times, and for toys – that means going digital, for which Ireland could become the creative research hub,” said Mr Kelly – Ireland’s only member of the European Parliament’s Trade committee.
“As Santa Claus knows only too well, digital toys are becoming more and more popular such as video games, tablets and entertainment products. This emerging market for children is considered an opportunity for European manufactures, but our toy producers mainly focus on traditional toys such as dolls, construction toys, puzzles and so on.
“With around 80 million children under 14 years of age in the EU and global toy consumption currently rising by about 7.5% annually, there is potential to increase Europe’s toy manufacturing. Ireland is recognised as an innovative hub, particularly in tech terms, so the ideas development of new toy products could begin here,” Mr Kelly said.
The UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are the largest toy markets in the EU.
“Digital toy manufacturing would complement Ireland´s reputation as being the “Digital Hub” of Europe. It would make it even more attractive for Foreign Direct Investment, which is going to become more competitive in the coming years,” he added.