Last year, Germans spent around 100 million euros on remote-controlled toys. Vehicles around the successful Cars licence are particularly popular in the model industry.

The model industry is a special branch. The vehicles, kits and lovingly designed miniature worlds range from a few euros to elaborate and expensive objects. And the clientele grows with it. The spectrum ranges from very young fans to their parents and grandparents. According to Steffen Kahnt, Deputy Managing Director of the German Toy Trade Association (BVS), children usually start with the ready-to-run models: “Sweet remote control cars for the smallest, cool designed racing cars and easy-to-steer helicopters in price ranges of ten to 30 euros have recently shaped the mass market and whetted the appetite for more”. The Germans spent around 83 million euros in 2017 on moving and flying remote-controlled objects. According to BVS, however, sales in the sector are likely to be even higher. If all sales channels are taken into account, the figure is likely to have been around 100 million euros.

Cars generates sales in the model industry

Of these 100 million euros, a large part was accounted for by products based on the Disney success license Cars. The most frequently purchased remote-controlled objects were the vehicles from the “Cars 3” film. The sets around Lightning McQueen and his companions also prevailed in plastic model making. The industry profited from the fact that it was able to attract younger model makers. Age-appropriate construction concepts such as Revell’s Junior Kits also ensured this. These kits do not require glue, are easy to assemble and thus guarantee a quick sense of achievement. They introduce children from the age of four to the world of model making. In total, classic plastic model making grew last year by an impressive five percent to around 13 million euros.

Jim Knopf as a theme for the model railway industry

A classic in the model industry is the model railway. Here, too, licenses will be used this year. For example, Märklin released the feature film “Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer” (Jim Knopf and Lukas the Locomotive Driver), which was launched at Easter, which featured the Emma locomotive, freight wagons and other accessories. Steffen Kahnt: “The model railway connects the generations while playing. And Jim Knopf not only inspires children, but also adults who still know the subject from their own childhood”. While, according to BVS, child-friendly model railways are in high demand and are being implemented, the German model railway industry as a whole is stagnating. Last year’s turnover is estimated at 150 million euros. The model industry was mixed up last year by a surprise hit: According to BVS figures, Germans spent a lot of money on the Turnator. This remote-controlled vehicle has large wheels that can be turned in the opposite direction. This allows the owner to turn the Turnator in a circle on the spot and perform stunts.


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Link: The Bundesverband Spielwaren BVS sees licenses as an important success factor in the model industry

Image: Revell