The Barbie Dreamhouse was the top-selling toy in the U.S. for 2020, per NPD | Source: Mattel/The Toy Book

The NPD Group dished out its 2020 Toy Industry Performance Awards in a pair of virtual ceremonies honoring The Americas (U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Brazil), Europe, and the Global market.

On the Global stage, The LEGO Group took home the top honors as Top Toy Manufacturer of the Year, while Mattel scored big on two fronts with Barbie being named Top Toy Property of the Year and the Hot Wheels 1:64-scale Mainline Assortment named Top Selling Toy of the Year.

“Barbie is more than a doll, she is a pop culture icon,” says Richard Dickson, president and COO, Mattel. “She has proven her staying power by remaining both timeless and timely, continuing to lead and reinvent the fashion doll category. Similarly, Hot Wheels continues to innovate and create iconic brand experiences that transcend generations, with a system of play that embodies the challenger spirit on which the brand was founded more than half a century ago.”

MGA Entertainment’s (MGAE) L.O.L. Surprise! brand was the Top Selling Toy Property of the Year in the U.S. and Canada in a year in which MGAE and rival Mattel faced off in the doll aisle. The Barbie Dreamhouse took the top spot as the Top Selling Toy in the U.S. while the L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Doll Assortment took the honor in Canada. Barbie was also the Top Toy Property in Brazil and the Top Gaining Property in Mexico.

The L.O.L. Surprise! brand also scored four other honors in the U.S. for 2020 with the L.O.L. Surprise OMG Doll Assortment (Fashion Dolls), L.O.L. Surprise OMG Styling Head (Fashion Role Play & Dressup), L.O.L. Surprise Doll Assortment (Playset Dolls & Collectibles), and L.O.L. Surprise 2-in-1 Glamper (Playset Doll Accessories) coming in at No. 1 in their respective subcategories.

“L.O.L. Surprise! is a global phenomenon that continues to ‘surprise and amaze’ fans and their parents,” says Isaac Larian, CEO and founder, MGAE. “This past year we brought lots of new to fans and their parents — new products, new experiences, and new initiatives, like MGAE Cares which supplied millions of PPE to frontline workers in more than 300 healthcare facilities around the world. We remain focused on delivering innovative products for 2021 — the best is yet to come!”

Related: U.S. Toy Industry Grows 16% as Pandemic Fuels Play

2020 U.S. Top-Selling Toys by Supercategory

  • Action Figures & Accessories: Beyblade Hypersphere Starter Pack Assortment (Hasbro)
  • Arts & Crafts: Kinetic Sand Sandisfying Set (Spin Master}
  • Building Sets: LEGO Super Mario Bros. Adventures Starter Course (The LEGO Group)
  • Dolls: Barbie Dreamhouse (Mattel)
  • Explorative & Other Toys: 5 Surprise Mini Brands Mystery Pack (ZURU)
  • Games/Puzzles: UNO Card Game Assortment (Mattel)
  • Infant/Toddler/Preschool Toys: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy & Sis Assortment (Mattel)
  • Outdoor & Sports Toys: Bunch O Balloons 3-Pack (ZURU)
  • Plush: Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child 11-inch Vinyl Head Plush (Mattel)
  • Vehicles: Hot Wheels Singles 1:64 Assortment (Mattel)
  • Youth Electronics: Kidizoom Smartwatch (VTech)

“All companies should be commended for how well they have performed throughout the challenging times brought about by the pandemic,” says Ricardo Solar, senior vice president of media entertainment and toys, The NPD Group. “I would like to congratulate the winners and wish you continued success in 2021.”

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.