The cash register bells have rung, and that’s good news for the global toy industry as we approach halfway through the holiday shopping season.
Toy industry sales in the 12 global markets tracked by the organization reached $36.7 billion in the first nine months of 2022, according to new data from the NPD Group. an increase of 2% since the start of last year, the impressive revelation is that revenue has increased by 30% from the $28.3 billion generated between January and September 2019, the last year of the pre-pandemic era.
“Unlike many other categories that grew tremendously during the pandemic and then saw their sales drop dramatically after COVID-19, the global toy market continues to perform well and maintain a high level of sales,” says Frédérique Tutt, global toy industry analyst at NPD. “As we approach the last quarter of the year, seeing revenue growth of 2% is encouraging for the industry. Once again, toys and games are proving their resilience in the face of political and economic uncertainties.
While total revenue continues to grow, overall unit sales volume has fallen 4% year-to-date, but saw a slight uptick in September.
NPD’s retail sales tracking service reports growth in seven tracked countries, led by a 23% boom in Brazil followed by a 13% spike in Mexico. These figures were followed by more modest gains in Spain, Canada, the United States, Italy and Australia.
Plush continues to lead supercategory growth with a 32% year-to-date gain, followed by a 12% increase in figures and accessories. Other growth supercategories include Exploration & Other Toys (10%) and Building Sets (5%).
According to NPD, child and adult “kidult” collectors are driving a boom in the three fastest-growing subclasses this year. Non-strategic trading cards and stickers, action figures and collectibles, and traditional plushies are all trending.
Licensed toys are driving sales growth worldwide, with 29.8% of all toys sold being licensed. Pokémon took the top spot through September, followed by Star Wars, Barbie, Marvel Universe and Hot Wheels.
Coupled with encouraging consumer habits reports from the National Retail Federation as the holiday season approaches, the industry looks set to score more victories in the weeks ahead.