Industry performance in 2019 was one of contrast. Sales in the first half of the year declined due to comparisons to the Toys?R”Us liquidation sales, which grew the first half of 2018. This was followed by growth in the third quarter (July – Sept.), which was expected as we came off of declines in 2018 caused by pantry loading from the liquidation. And, finally, we wrapped up with declines in the fourth quarter (Oct. – Dec.), which was burdened with six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Comparing noteworthy sales weeks over the holiday period, the week of Black Friday was flat when compared to the same time period in 2018, while the week of Cyber Monday grew 13 percent, and Christmas week grew 40 percent. For the first time in NPD sales tracking history, toy sales during the week of Cyber Monday were larger than the week of Black Friday.
“2019 was one of the more complicated years to get a good read on toy industry health,” said Juli
Lennett, vice president and industry advisor, Toys, The NPD Group. “Every time period had a substantial ‘one-off’ event that impacted the trend. 2020 will be far less complicated and we should get a clean, like-for-like comparison of toy industry trends as early as January.”
Two Disney properties that had very successful movie sequels in 2019 were at the top of the property growth list: Frozen and Toy Story. The Fashion Dolls class was the top dollar growth class of the 96 classes tracked by NPD. L.O.L. Surprise! led the growth in this class with the new O.M.G. fashion dolls followed by Disney Frozen and Barbie, which also contributed to the growth.
Supercategory sales highlights include Action Figures, growing 11 percent, led by growth in Toy Story and Fortnite which, combined, were almost half of growing properties in Action Figures.
Sales were flat in Games and Puzzles, but Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering were two growing properties in the Strategic Trading Card Game class, the second largest top absolute dollar growth class behind Fashion Dolls. Building Sets and Outdoor & Sports Toys outperformed the market despite the declines; and Skates/Skateboards/Scooters was the largest growth class in Outdoor & Sports Toys and the fifth largest absolute dollar growth class in toys.
The NPD Group Reports on 2019 Global Toy Industry Sales: decrease of 3 percent
Port Washington, NY, February 18, 2020 – Toy industry sales decreased by 3 percent
* in 2019 across the 13 global markets (G13)** tracked by The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Overall, the industry performed better outside the United States, with Russia, Germany, and Brazil up 5 percent, 3 percent, and 2 percent, respectively. LATAM sales increased 1 percent, and Europe sales were down 2 percent.
The first six months of 2019 declined 6 percent, underperforming primarily due to comparisons to the Toys?R”Us liquidation sales in 2018 in large global markets; but the second half marked a clear improvement, declining only 1 percent.
In 2019, Action Figures & Accessories and Games/Puzzles were the two growth areas for the year, with respective growth of 14 percent and 3 percent, while Building Sets and Dolls out-performed the market. Action Figures (+11 percent), Action Figure Playsets & accessories (+21 percent), Action Figure Collectibles (+16 percent) and Battling Toys & Playsets (+41 percent) all contributed to the growth of Action Figures overall. Games/Puzzles showed strong resilience with Strategic Trading Card Games, Card Games, Family Strategy Games, Adult Puzzles and Adult Games all experiencing growth.
Looking at the top five selling toy properties across the G13 in 2019, L.O.L. Surprise! was the largest property, followed by Barbie, Marvel Universe, Hot Wheels, and Nerf. Overall growth was driven by entertainment properties with movie launches in 2019 such as Disney Frozen, Toy Story, Pokémon, and LEGO Movie, as well as the video games license, Fortnite.
“A 3 percent increase in licensed toys, driven by an unprecedented line-up of family movies, helped the market, especially during the second half of the year. The closures of major specialist chains had the most adverse effect on global toy sales. In those countries where a major chain closed down (U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, and Netherlands), sales were down 5 percent compared to 2018. Sales outside of those countries, however, were up 1 percent for the year,” said Frédérique Tutt, Global Toys Industry
Analyst at The NPD Group. “The industry is preparing itself for 2020. In the U.S., we are pleased that the threat around tariffs for toys is no longer a concern, but we are now facing a potential industrial crisis with the coronavirus, which is having an impact on manufacturing in China. We hope the situation will improve very soon and we can get back to business as usual.”
*Source: The NPD Group / Retail Tracking
Service, $ Sales adjusted & projected / January-December 2019
** NPD’s Global Toys footprint covers
Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico,
Netherlands, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.
The NPD Group: U.S. Toy Industry Sales Experienced +7.6 Percent Growth in the First Quarter of 2020
Port Washington, NY, April 29, 2020 – The U.S. toy industry saw dollar sales increase by $256 million to $3.6 billion in the first quarter (January 2020 – March 2020), a 7.6 percent increase over the same time period last year*.
While Easter, which occurred a week earlier this year than it did in 2019, may have been responsible for some sales in March, school closings was the key driver of toy industry growth in the first quarter.
Games and Puzzles, Outdoor & Sports Toys, Building Sets, and Arts & Crafts drove the sales increases with growth of 55 percent, 22 percent, 20 percent, and 13 percent, respectively, over the first quarter of 2020.
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.
Once again, content proved to be king as all four of the top four growth properties (Disney Frozen, Star Wars, Toy Story and Pokémon) were bolstered by movie releases in 2019.
Assessing the Impact of COVID 19
In mid-March, the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread school and workplace closures throughout the U.S. As a result, many parents had to work from home while, at the same time, manage their children’s schooling and free time. Adding to that, the elimination of organized sports and the negative impact of widespread social isolation on families led many parents to turn to toys for help.
While COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the global economy, it has bolstered the toy industry in the U.S. During the five weeks from March 15 to April 18 the toy industry grew +19 percent vs. +1 percent for the first 10 weeks of the year**. Easter sales were included for both years during this five-week comparison period and, therefore, had no seasonal impact.
Not surprisingly, 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.
“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. Trampolines and skates/skateboards/scooters fulfilled that need for many families,” said Juli Lennett, NPD’s toys industry advisor, “And with warmer weather approaching, Outdoor and Sports Toys will be the supercategory to watch if lockdowns continue.”
*Source: The NPD Group/ Retail Tracking Service, January-March
**Source: The NPD Group/ Weekly Retail Tracking Service/ Dollar Sales/
Week Ending April 18, 2020
Toy Sales Rise in 2015
By: TOYDIRECTORY.COM & TDmonthly Staff
Based on NPD's Retail Tracking Service, January-December 2015 U.S. toy sales grew by 6.7 percent in 2015, generating $19.4 billion and marking one of the strongest performances the industry has seen in a number of years.
(1999 was the most recent year that with the help of Pokemon, Beanie Babies, Star Wars Toys, and Furby, Toy Sales jumped 7.1 percent year to year.)
In 2015 “properties such as Star Wars, Minions, Paw Patrol, and Minecraft, as well as tech-enabled toys, with more innovative features, and those with more authentic and traditional play value are all converging to create a robust holiday season for the industry”, according to NPD.
Star Wars managed to place the Sphero app-controlled Star Wars BB-8 robot on the list of the 2015's best sellers in the eighth spot. The number one was Shopkins. (12-pack figurines was number one and the two-pack , was number four on the list of top sellers.)
Nine of the 11 super-categories posted gains in 2015. Games/Puzzles and Vehicles grew the fastest at 10.8 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively, followed by Building Sets and Outdoor & Sports Toys. Outdoor & Sports Toys and Dolls had the largest dollar gains followed by Building Sets and Infant/Toddler/Preschool Toys. Star Wars was the number-one absolute dollar growth contributor to three of the super-categories: Action Figures, Vehicles, and All Other Toys.
Content was a key driver behind the growth of the toy industry in 2015. Whether it be a movie (Star Wars, Jurassic World, Minions, and Avengers), television show (Paw Patrol), app (Minecraft), or a strong YouTube following (Shopkins), all of these properties with ties to content were top contributors to the growth. “Movies” in total outperformed the market in 2015, growing by 9.4 percent. With the early release of Star Wars toys on Force Friday, Star Wars managed to become the number-one property for the year, with over $700 million in sales. It also brought in more sales and contributed more growth than Jurassic World, Minions, and Avengers combined.
Last year, Christmas fell on a Friday resulting in consumers having an extra day to shop compared to last year. The week of Christmas (12/20-12/26) sales grew 25 percent in 2015. The week of Christmas also represents 8 percent of all toy sales for the year, and is the second most important week of the year for the toy industry—the week before Christmas being number-one at 8.5 percent, explained NPD.
“What was especially interesting to see this year among the top ten selling items was the wide diversity of toys from simple to complex,” said Lennett from NPD. “In addition, among the top toys were evergreen properties like Hot Wheels, Barbie, Star Wars, and Ninja Turtles as well as relatively new properties like Shopkins, Paw Patrol, and Minecraft. Price points were also wide ranging, from under $1 to over $150.”
Data is representative of retailers that participate in The NPD Group's Retail Tracking Service. NPD’s current estimate is that the Retail Tracking Service represents approximately 80 percent of the U.S. retail market for Toys. Twitter: @npdgroup @npdtoys
ANNUAL TOY SALES DATA:
U.S. toy RETAIL market $18.24 billion for 2014. NPD estimates TOTAL domestic toy market sales for 2014 to be in the $22 billion range.
U.S. toy RETAIL market $17.50 billion for 2013.
ARCHIVES 2012: U.S. Imports for Consumption Annual Data Toys, Dolls, and Games 33993: Customs Value by Customs Value | ALL Countries
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ARCHIVES 4/1/2010: Why Toy Sales Will Strengthen But Won’t Beat 2003 |
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According to chron.com, NPD estimated 2012 toy industry revenues to be $16.5 billion, although the Toy Industry Association pegged total industry revenues at $22 billion. The TIA estimated 2012 industry growth to be 2 percent, while NPD estimated it to be negative 0.6 percent. Both entities measured building sets -- dominated by Lego with an 85 percent market share -- as the highest growth segment of 2012 at 20 percent. Action figures and plush toys registered the largest declines in growth during 2012. Industry giants Hasbro and Mattel together control approximately 40 percent of the domestic toy market.