In the first 10 weeks of 2018, toy industry U.S. dollar sales grew by 2 percent—on par with the results during this time last year, according to The NPD Group. The proceeding four weeks brought two unique circumstances that converged to further lift the industry: the beginning of the Toys ‟R” Us liquidation (March 15) and an early Easter (April 1). In those weeks, from March 11 through April 7, toy sales grew by 36 percent over the same period in 2017—driving year-to-date growth for the 14 weeks combined to 13 percent.
Regardless of when it falls on the calendar, Easter sales volume typically experiences a bump in the two weeks leading up to the holiday, providing an annual boost for the industry. Normalizing the year-to-date sales trend to split out Easter and decipher the impact of the Toys ‟R” Us announcement, results in around $180 million more being generated between March 11 and April 7, 2018. This represents additional toy industry sales that may be attributed to the Toys ‟R” Us liquidation.
Among U.S. consumers who purchased a toy, game, or arts/crafts product from Toys ‟R” Us or Babies ‟R” Us for someone in the last month, the majority (56 percent) did so to give to someone immediately, according to a poll conducted by CivicScience, on behalf of NPD. Of those remaining, 12 percent made purchases to give by June; 10 percent between July and September; and 22 percent did so to give in October or later.
In the opening 10 weeks of 2018, as well as the four weeks surrounding Easter and the Toys ‟R” Us news, among the fastest-growing supercategories during both periods were Youth Electronics, led by Fingerlings; Dolls, driven by L.O.L. Surprise!; and All Other Toys, on account of sales increases for Soft’n Slo Squishies, Smooshy Mushy, and Squish-Dee-Lish. In the latter weeks leading up to Easter, Plush sales moved into these ranks as traditional plush typically sells well for this holiday.
Many items that moved into the top 20 best-sellers for the latter four weeks were spring and Easter friendly, including Bunch O Balloons 3pk, Glove A Bubble Assortment, and Hatchimals Mini Eggs CollEGGtibles 12 pack.