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%).