The U.S. toy industry growth is showing no signs of slowing down.
Total U.S. sales increased 27% in the first four months of 2021, a $1.5 billion increase over the January-April period last year, according to The NPD Group. Tracking data for the period reveals that both unit sales and the average selling price increased to 17% and 9%, respectively.
“As we lap the lockdowns of 2020, the supercategories that had surging growth last year, like games and puzzles, appear to be slowing down,” says Juli Lennett, vice president and industry advisor, U.S. Toys, The NPD Group. “However, it’s important to realize that sales are still strong for games and puzzles in 2021 which is reflected in the 2-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34%, the fastest growth compared to 2019 of all supercategories.”
Classic brands are doing big business this year, with Pokémon, Barbie, Star Wars, L.O.L. Surprise!, Marvel Universe, Hot Wheels, Little Tikes, NERF, LEGO Star Wars, and Funko Pop! amounting to a collective 48% year-to-date sales spike.
According to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service, 10 of the 11 tracked toy supercategories hit double-digit growth this year.
Plush registered the highest growth this year, with a 44% increase over 2020 while outdoor and sports toys leads the charge as the biggest supercategory with $1.6 billion in sales this year.
The continued Pokémon craze drove the strategic trading cards category to the largest top dollar growth of the 96 classes tracked by NPD.