According to a report from The NPD Group, the U.S. toy industry saw dollar sales increase by $256 million during the first quarter of 2020. The industry grew to $3.6 billion during the first quarter, a 7.6 percent increase over the same time period last year.
The report states that though Easter occurred a week earlier this year than it did the year prior, school closures heavily influenced the toy industry’s growth. Games and puzzles, outdoor and sports toys, building sets and arts and crafts drove the sales increases with growth of 55 percent, 22 percent, 20 percent and 13 percent, respectively, over the first quarter of 2020.
"With organized and school sports cancellations being one of the casualties of COVID-19, parents and children yearned for something to take the place of those outdoor, physical activities," says Juli Lennett, toys industry advisor, The NPD Group. "Trampolines and skates/skateboards/scooters fulfilled that need for many families. And with warmer weather approaching, outdoor and sports toys will be the supercategory to watch if lockdowns continue."
The strongest dollar growth categories during this five-week time period, contributing 77 percent of the growth, included games and puzzles, driven by family board/action games, adult puzzles, card games and children's games; and outdoor and sports toys, driven by playground equipment, skates/skateboards/scooters and pools. Building sets and arts and crafts contributed the remaining 23 percent of the growth.
The top properties for Q1 2020 included L.O.L. Surprise!, Pokémon, Disney “Frozen,” Barbie, “Star Wars,” Marvel Universe, Hot Wheels, Nerf, Funko Pop! and Little Tikes. The Top 10 properties combined posted 19 percent growth versus the rest of the market, which was up 5 percent.