According to 2013 year-end retail sales data compiled by The NPD Group, retail dollar sales of toys experienced a decline of 1 percent when compared to 2012.
Retail sales appear to be impacted by 2013's shorter holiday shopping season. Though the weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw respective sales increases of 4 percent and 24 percent, the remaining weeks experienced softer sales when compared to 2012, which led to a 1 percent decline in fourth quarter sales (October–December 2013). It's clear that toy shoppers responded during the peak Black Friday and Cyber Monday weeks, but six fewer shopping days may have impacted overall holiday toy sales.
In terms of 2013 sales performance across super-categories, youth electronics and arts and crafts experienced the most significant increases at 18 percent and 8 percent, respectively; building sets and plush saw respective revenue increases of 1 percent
Licensed toys, which experienced an increase of 3 percent in 2013, represented 31 percent of total industry sales, comparable to the 2012 level. Disney had three of the top five absolute dollar growth properties including Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First and Disney's Planes. Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and LEGO's Legends of Chima both claimed spots in the top five growth properties.
Top properties for the year based on total dollar sales (in alphabetical order) include Barbie, Disney Princess, Monster High, Nerf and Star Wars.
The beauty of the toy business is how kids' imaginations are captured by relative newcomers such as Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins, by rejuvenated properties such as TMNT and through stalwarts such as Barbie, Nerf and LEGO.
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