A Mastermind Toys store in Canada | Source: Mastermind Toys

The Canadian toy industry mirrored its U.S. counterpart with big sales spikes in the first nine months of the year.

Overall retail sales increased 12% through the third quarter, according to The NPD Group.

“As we look ahead to the next few critical months for retail, we expect that more consumers will continue to shop online, which may shift purchases earlier than the traditional December crunch,” says Joan Ramsay, NPD’s industry analyst for Canada entertainment. “In addition, Amazon Prime Day just took place in October, and many retailers are saying that their Black Friday deals will start earlier and be spread over more weeks. We expect more consumers to shop earlier to take advantage of these deals and avoid possible inventory shortages and shipping delays.”

Toy sales in Canada and the U.S. began increasing during the first stay-at-home orders prompted by the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Canada, Disney Frozen, Star Wars, Barbie, Nintendo, and Little Tikes have become the fastest-growing properties. Outdoor and sports toys grew 31% through September, and double-digit growth continued across additional tracked super categories, including games and puzzles (29%), arts and crafts (14%), building sets (13%), infant/toddler/preschool (10%), and explorative and other toys (10%).

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.