The industry is expected to grow another 4 percent by the end of 2017.
GLOBAL–Toy sales are on the rise worldwide heading into the second half of 2017, according to The NPD Group, with an increase of 3 percent reported across 11 markets that were measured.
NPD predicts that the industry will grow roughly 4 percent for the duration of the year.
“Many family friendly movies are still due to be released across the globe in the second half of 2017, and I expect the industry will get a boost thanks to entertainment,” says Tutt. “This will be driven especially by the more toyetic movies including Star Wars, Cars 3, Transformers and Spider-Man.”
Among the 11 markets tracked, Mexico and Russia increased the most, with toy sales up 20 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Other regions reporting gains include: Benelux (8 percent), Spain (7 percent), the U.S. (3 percent), Canada (3 percent), Germany (2 percent), Italy (1 percent) and France (1 percent). The U.K. and Australia were the only two countries tracked that saw declines (1 percent and 2 percent, respectively).
The collectibles market continued to see double-digit growth, reporting an increase of 15 percent due to the international popularity of L.O.L. Surprise, Pokémon cards and Hatchimals. In addition, the collectibles category now accounts for nearly 10 percent of dollar sales in the total market.
Looking at supercategories, games/puzzles was the top performer, with sales up 19 percent. The all other toys supercategory was also up 10 percent, driven in large part by the current fidget spinner trend. Outdoor and sports toys, the largest supercategory according to The NPD Group, grew its dollar sales by 2 percent.
Alternatively, building sets and action figures both lost traction worldwide, with sales down 6 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
The NPD Group also reported the top 10 global toy properties, based on dollar sales, for the first half of the year. They include (in order): Pokémon, Star Wars, Nerf, Barbie, “Paw Patrol,” Batman, Hot Wheels, LEGO City, LEGO Star Wars and Playmobil.
“In the first half of 2017, we saw the tangible impact of social media in causing viral toys successes. While in years past it would have taken something like fidget spinners months to travel internationally, today, social media outlets are allowing consumers around the world to discover new toys at the same time,” says Frédérique Tutt, global toys industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Trends are amplifying quickly and becoming more widespread, which is both a challenge and an opportunity for the industry.”