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.”
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.