ReDo Skateboard Co.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to skew sales numbers as families stay at home.

According to The NPD Group, overall sales for the U.S. toy industry grew 22% in April. This number may come as a surprise given that overall retail sales fell off a cliff to hit historic lows last month. According to numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Trade Federation (NRF), and Dow Jones, retail sales dropped somewhere between 12.3% to 16.4% in April.

The sales boom, according to NPD, comes from the outdoor and sports toys supercategory, which spiked 51% versus the same period last year to make up 53% of total growth last month.

“As families across the U.S. continue to grapple with school closures and the cancellation of organized sports, parents and children are turning to their backyards to keep active and busy,” says Juli Lennett, NPD’s toy industry advisor. “Across the country outdoor spaces are taking the place of daycares, schoolyards, and sports fields. As the warmer weather takes hold, these spaces are becoming increasingly important for families who are looking to take refuge outdoors while still adhering to widespread social isolation measures.”

Within outdoor and sports toys supercategory, NPD says that sales in pools grew 161%, followed by a 107% boom in skate/skateboards/scooters, an 81% surge in playground equipment, a 78% increase in ride-ons, a 47% jump in water/sand toys and accessories, and a 25% uptick in sports activities and games.

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.