NPD: Toy Sales Up in Major Markets

GLOBAL—Toy industry sales grew by 1 percent in 2017 across 12 markets, according to research firm The NPD Group.

April 6, 2018

2 Min Read

GLOBALToy industry sales grew by 1 percent in 2017 across 12 markets, according to research firm The NPD Group.

The findings are part of NPD’s receipt mining service, Checkout Tracking.

According to Checkout Tracking, toy sales in the U.S., the world’s largest toy market, grew by 1 percent, or 20.7 billion, last year, while Mexico and Russia grew the fastest with sales up 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively. The U.K., France and Australia experienced declines, and sales were flat in Germany and Italy.

All other toys (excluding action figures, arts & crafts, building sets, dolls, games and puzzles, infant, youth electronics, outdoor and sports toys, vehicles) plush and dolls were the fastest-growing categories in all major global markets. Globally, all other toys grew its sales by 14 percent, driven by fidget toys, which started to gain popularity last spring, and peaked at the end of June, as well as slime kits.

The service also found that the games and puzzles category grew sales by 3 percent around the world. The bulk of growth came during the first eight months of the year, mostly due to gains in Pokémon as a result of the summer 2016 release of “Pokémon Go.” 

Collectibles have too been a leader of growth, driven by blind packs. The global collectibles market grew by 14 percent to $3.9 billion, supported by the properties such as MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise! ranges, Spin Master’s Hatchimals and LEGO mini figures. Collectibles accounted for about 8 percent of total industry dollar sales.

Top-selling toy properties are as follows: Disney’s Star Wars held the No. 1 spot, followed by Mattel’s Nerf and Barbie.

“There’s a need for speed in the world today. In the current retail environment, it is more imperative than ever to be able to react quickly to changing tastes and fast-moving trends. Toy companies, whether they are big or small, who are nimble enough to react faster and get to market more quickly are the ones who will win in the long term,” says Juli Lennett, senior vice president and industry advisor, toys, The NPD Group.

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