Spider-Man Best-Performing Superhero License in U.S. for 2021, Says NPD 

Strong sales performance for Spider-Man licensed toys, clothing, books and many other products. 
License Global

January 31, 2022

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According to The NPD Group, Spider-Man was the best-performing superhero license in the U.S. last year, with total consumer spending on Spider-Man licensed products across the industries that NPD tracks increasing 43% over 2020.  

Spider-Man licensed product sales experienced strong performance across multiple industries, including toys, juvenile products, video games, apparel, fashion accessories, bicycles, entertainment and books. NPD attributes the increase to the success of the film, “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”  

Sales of Spider-Man licensed toys increased 39%, versus 2020, led by products in the building set and action figure categories, while sales for juvenile products, which includes items in furniture and travel, increased 61%. In video games, the most recent title for the license, “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales,” which was released in 2020, ranked as the sixth best-selling title overall in 2021.  

Spider-Man apparel sales increased 139% in 2021 over 2020. Backpack sales also

experienced a boost; in fact, Spider-Man was the No. 2 best-selling license for children’s backpacks. In the cycling space, Spider-Man ranked as the top-selling license for both children’s bikes and bike helmets in 2021.  

According to NPD’s Subscription Video Track, nearly 20 million hours of Spider-Man content was streamed in 2021 across Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Spider-Man: Far from Home” accounted for nearly 40% of hours streamed. Sales showed strong performance on more traditional entertainment formats, with sales of Spider-Man book titles growing 43%.  

“Spider-Man is a banner example of how film and entertainment content is fueling sales across apparel and many other industries,” says Kristen Classi-Zummo, apparel industry analyst, NPD. “Consumers are engaging with more products and platforms than ever before to interact with their favorite licenses. Finding synergies and understanding this ripple effect should be a top priority for retailers and licensors.”  


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