NPD Says Global Toy Sales Increase 15% in H1 2021

Pokémon Mega Construx | Source: Mattel / The Pokémon Co. International

Despite shipping issues and empty shelves in some places, the global toy industry is still on a roll with famous brands including Pokémon, Barbie, Star Wars, LOL Surprise! and Marvel Universe topped the charts.

According to The NPD group, sales of the toy industry in the 12 global markets (G12) tracked by the organization soared 15% to $ 22.45 billion in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. Even more impressive, these numbers represent a gain of 28% from. the same period in 2019, the last year of the pre-pandemic era.

“We are delighted to report continued strong growth in the toy market globally,” said Frederique Tutt, Global Toy Industry Analyst at NPD. “Even as COVID-19 restrictions ease in most countries, consumers continue to turn to toys and games for entertainment. Whether it’s for collectible cards, building sets or outdoor toys, demand is still very high, which is promising as the industry now gears up for the holiday season. .

The US toy industry continues to lead the charge with a 40% increase in sales in the first half of 2021 compared to 2019 and a gain of 19% compared to 2020.

Toy sales in Germany increased 23%, followed by Canada (20%), Belgium (19%), the Netherlands (19%) and Russia (19%). Sales in Spain and Brazil fell by 10% and 15% respectively.

What’s new so far in 2021

Strategic trading card games grabbed the headlines this year, so it’s no surprise to learn that the NPD sub-segment grew 136% in the first half of 2021. Led by Pokémon, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary anniversary, the category has grown from $ 341.7 million in sales. in the first half of 2019 to $ 805.8 million in the first half of 2021.

All 11 toy supercategories tracked by NPD in the G12 have increased so far in 2021 compared to 2019 with games / puzzles (59%) and outdoor and sports toys (38%) seeing the fastest growth. higher compared to the pre-pandemic era. Baby, toddler and preschool toys are hot alongside dolls and construction sets. In the United States, 10 of the 11 supercategories experienced growth.

“The continued exceptional growth of outdoor and sports toys has been in part due to water-related toys as consumers seek to beat the heat,” said Juli Lenett, vice president and industry advisor, US Toys , The NPD Group. “With the vaccine still not available for children under 12, ‘safe social toys’ such as playground equipment and skates / skateboards / scooters have also continued to grow.”

Distribution of toy industry supercategories in the United States | Source: The NPD Group

NPD reports that in its 29 global toy sub-segments, only two have experienced declines this year compared to 2019: Playset Dolls and Accessories (-34%) and Battling Toys and Playsets (-8%).

In the United States, other classic brands including Hot Wheels, NERF, Little Tikes and Fisher-Price have also exploded this year.

“Nostalgia has been a key driver of growth over the past 18 months,” adds Lennett. “Consumers have sought to fill the isolation with memories of happier times in their lives. Adult men have spurred growth with nostalgic brands like Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, and the National Football League in the collectibles space, and parents and grandparents have relied heavily on brands they’ve known. and loved for several generations.

Importantly, NPD’s Global Toys footprint covers Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, UK and US, but excludes two main regions: China and Australia. .

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