A LEGO 2021 Lunar New Year Set | Source: The LEGO Group

The toy industry is booming in China, particularly on the digital front.

E-commerce sales in the first quarter of 2021 spiked 16% to $1.2 billion, according to The NPD Group. The increase was due in large part to the Feb. 12 Chinese New Year celebration, with sales in January growing 34%. The market was dominated by Chinese manufacturers, with just four of the top 10 toymakers representing international companies.

“China is the world’s second-largest toy market and the world’s largest toy production base,” says Frédérique Tutt, global toys industry analyst, The NPD Group. “It’s a country that is primed for savvy international brands seeking opportunities in new markets. Even if the rate of growth slowed in 2020 due to the global pandemic, China over-performed other countries in the region and is already bouncing back. With the latest relaxation of the two-child policy and an ever-increasing middle-class population, we expect the Chinese toy market’s healthy growth to continue.”

Related: Target Crushes Earnings Estimates as Toy Sales Spike 40% in Q1

The NPD Group says that all supercategories grew in Q1, lead by outdoor and sports toys with an 18% gain over the January-March period last year.

Licensed toys experienced a 45% boost in sales driven by Ultraman, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, and Disney Frozen.

The U.S. toy industry’s Q1 sales report— usually issued publicly in April — is expected to surface in the coming days.

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.