According to retail sales data from The NPD Group, U.S. retail sales of toys generated $18.08 billion last year compared to $17.46 billion in 2013, an increase of 4 percent.
Retail sales over the 2014 holiday shopping season got off to a bumpy start, with the weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday experiencing mixed results of -2 percent and 1 percent (compared to the same time periods in 2013). However, with one extra shopping day the week of Christmas compared to last year, Christmas week grew 27 percent, lifting December growth to 6 percent. Meanwhile, fourth quarter sales were up 3 percent for the 13 weeks starting October 5 through the week ending January 3.
In terms of sales performance across super-categories in 2014, Building Sets and Youth Electronics experienced the most significant increases at 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively, followed by Action Figures and Games/Puzzles, both increasing 9 percent. Infant/Preschool Toys and All Other Toys experienced dollar sales declines (-5 percent and -0.4 percent, respectively) when compared to 2013.
Licensed toys, which represented 31 percent of total industry sales, experienced an increase of 7 percent in 2014 compared to 2013.
Looking at top toy properties, Disney’s Frozen captured the top spot overall as well as the top gainer among all toy properties for the year based on absolute dollar growth, generating $531 million last year. While Frozen did not capture the top spot in any of the 11 super-categories NPD tracks, and was the top property in only four of the 100 subclasses (Paint Kits, Fashion Styling & Dress-up, Children’s Puzzles, Electronic Entertainment), the property was represented in 39 different toy categories.