Following last month’s report that U.S. toy sales fell 4% last year, The NPD Group is back with its annual global report.
According to its tracking across 13 global markets (G13), overall toy industry sales declined 3% in 2019. The group says that the industry performed better outside the U.S., with single-digit increases across Russia, Germany, Brazil, and Latin American markets.
While talk of the Toys “R” Us collapse in the U.S. and other countries is finally slowing down, global numbers reflect the same downward trend for the first half of 2019 that was seen in U.S. numbers when compared against the same six month period in 2018 during Toys “R” Us liquidation sales. In large markets, the second half of the year was down just 1%.
G13 Top Five Best-Selling Toys of 2019
- L.O.L. Surprise! (MGA Entertainment)
- Barbie (Mattel)
- Marvel Universe (various)
- Hot Wheels (Mattel)
- NERF (Hasbro)
Licensed toys were up 3% for the year, with products based on Frozen 2, Toy Story 4, Pokémon, and The LEGO Movie joining Epic Games’ Fortnite among the top properties.
“A 3% increase in licensed toys, driven by an unprecedented line-up of family movies, helped the market, especially during the second half of the year,” says Frédérique Tutt, global toys industry analyst at The NPD Group. “The closures of major specialist chains had the most adverse effect on global toy sales. In those countries where a major chain closed down (U.S., UK, Australia, and Netherlands), sales were down 5% compared to 2018. Sales outside of those countries, however, were up 1% for the year.”
Tutt notes that the toy industry is already preparing itself for the challenges of this year including the coronavirus, which is impacting manufacturing in China.
Mirroring U.S. results, action figures and accessories were up 14% while games and puzzles grew 3% overall.