Looking at year-to-date sales through the end of September, the U.S. toy industry grew 2 percent when compared to the same time period last year. The total sales were $11.6 billion, a $264 million increase.

This gain was slightly lower than last year’s 4 percent increase, but still “shouldn’t be dismissed,” says NPD senior vice president and industry advisor Juli Lennett. “With all the change the toy industry has endured over the past year, growth is a welcome surprise and speaks to the tenacity of the toy industry.”

Six of the 11 super-categories the NPD tracks saw gains, with youth electronics seeing the largest gain at a 24 percent increase. Dolls had the strongest absolute dollar growth, increasing $168 million.

Although it declined 1 percent, outdoor and sports toys was the largest super-category in sales.

According to the report, top-performing properties this year bases on total dollar sales include Marvel Universe, L.O.L. Surprise!, Nerf, Barbie, and Star Wars.