Worldwide toy sales are on the move: The NPD Group found that toy industry sales topped $18.4 billion for the first half of the year, an increase of 4 % compared to 2017. In terms of regions, Mexico recorded the most sales in the toy industry growth of 15% for the first half of the year. Brazil and the United States follow closely, with 11% and 7% growth respectively. And brands have helped fuel this strong growth.
“More than entertainment, brands have been an important trend driving the industry forward so far this year,” Frederique Tutt, global toy industry analyst for The NPD Group, said in a press release. “Certain key themes have also emerged or grown in popularity, such as dinosaurs and unicorns on the one hand, and slimy or toilet humor on the other.”
In terms of segments, collectibles were on a tear: global sales grew by just over a quarter – 26% – and now account for 11% of dollar sales across the industry. of the toy. Amid toys in the collectibles market, LOL Surprise! led global sales, topping the charts as the #1 toy property in all 13 countries surveyed by NPD Group. And, beyond collectibles, sales of youth electronics increased 29% and were driven by Fingerlings. Sales of miscellaneous toys, on the other hand, grew a little more slowly at a rate of 12%.
The recent report highlights the latest growth in the toy industry: NPD found that the global toy industry saw steady gains from 2012, as well as an increase in global spending per child. In terms of regions, North America – led by the United States – is the largest part of the world for toy sales. But, in terms of growth prospects, the Asian toy market grew by 21% over a five-year period. In total, NPD predicts that the overall market will exceed $99 billion in 2022.
Growth in the United States
In the United States, US toy industry sales increased 7% to $7.9 billion in the first half of 2018. The increase occurred during the liquidation of Toys R Us, which, in fact, could have contributed to the growth of the industry. . In an analysis published earlier in August, Juli Lennett, senior vice president and toy industry advisor for NPD, said that “it’s likely that the news from Toys R Us has kept toys top of mind.” of parents and grandparents when buying for children in general, which benefits both consumers and industry.
Mid-priced toys led market growth, and in terms of categories, youth electronics grew 43% and dolls 17%. In addition, box office action figures and accessories increased their sales by 16%, helped by the release of several films such as “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”. Overall, Lennett believes the toy market has “been bustling with activity” – and growth will continue through the end of the year.
“Existing toy retailers have announced that they will dedicate more space and carry more toys this holiday season, both in-store and online,” Lennett said in a press release. “We are also seeing new, more experiential store formats emerge, and we will have new toy retailers entering the space. The industry has been proactive in making up for the dollars Toys R Us left on the table, and more.
New toy concepts
Party City, for example, decided to get into the toy business this Christmas. Coming out days before the final signing of Toys R Us, Party City has announced that it will be opening around 50 pop-up stores this year to call itself, quite inventively, Toy City. More details about the stores were not released, but Party City said the stores will launch in “optimal” markets with “attractive leasing opportunities.”
“Creating a Toy City concept to complement our temporary seasonal retail strategy is a logical extension of our brand, which will allow us to leverage our existing pop-up store capabilities and capitalize on category white space. which was recently created,” Party City CEO James Harrison said in a statement.
Beyond Party City’s pop-up store concept, FAO Schwarz is making a return to brick-and-mortar retail. David Conn, CEO of FAO Schwarz owner ThreeSixty Group, told Karen Webster in a recent chat that FAO Schwarz will be back for Holiday 2018 with a brand new store in New York.
Toys are far from dead: ThreeSixty Group also owns Sharper Image, and Conn noted that toys are consistently among its biggest sellers. But consumers are looking for products that go beyond the main function in unexpected and surprising ways, delivering the “wow factor”. Will this quality help develop the toy market? Time will tell us.