Exponential rise noted in sales of toys globally

North America is the world’s largest region for sales and Asia is growing the fastest

August 14, 2018
Across the 13 international markets tracked by The NPD Group, a leading global information company, toy industry sales reached USD 18.4 billion in the first half of 2018, up 4 percent over last year.*
Mexico grew the fastest, +15 percent, while Brazil followed with 11 percent growth and the United States at +7 percent. Europe posted a 1 percent decline as growth in Germany, Russia, Italy, and Spain was offset by slight declines in other countries.
“Traditional play patterns, collectibles, social media, and innovation are the major themes we saw trending globally in the first six months of the year, and I expect they will continue to accelerate. More than entertainment, brands have been an important trend to move the needle for the industry so far this year,” said FrédériqueTutt, global toys industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Some key themes have also emerged or have been increasing in popularity, such as dinosaurs and unicorns on the one hand, and slime or toilet humour on the other.”
toys sales
The collectibles market continued to blaze its trail in the first half of 2018, led by the international popularity of L.O.L. Surprise!, ranked as the #1 toy property in all 13 countries combined. Global sales of collectibles increased by 26 percent, and now account for 11 percent of dollar sales in the total toy industry. Led by Fingerlings, the youth electronics segment grew by 29 percent. Sales of miscellaneous toys grew by 12 percent, with the major drivers being Soft’n Slow Squishes, Major League Baseball cards, and Panini Russia 2018 World Cup stickers. Tying into the ‘kidult’ trend, the games segment (excluding strategic card games) grew sales by 12 percent with Monopoly, UNO, and Exploding Kittens among the contributors to its success.
Top 10 Global Toy Properties, Based on Dollars, January-June 2018
1. L.O.L. Surprise!
2. Total Marvel
3. Star Wars
4. Nerf
5. Barbie
6. Hot Wheels
7. Pokémon
8. Paw Patrol
9. Total DC Comics
10. LEGO City
NPD’s just released Global Toy Market Report – which delves beyond the 13 markets and spans North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. According to its findings, the global toy industry has been growing steadily since 2012, and so has the global spend per child. North America remains the largest region driven by the United States—the world’s largest toy market—while Asia is the strongest growth prospect, having grown by 21 percent in the last five years. NPD forecasts the global toy market to reach USD 99 billion in 2022.**
“As domestic markets become more and more mature, manufacturers and retailers are looking at new territories to find growth. The Global Toy Market Report has become an indispensable tool to tackle international growth opportunities and generate incremental revenue,” said Tutt.
*NPD’s Global Toys retail footprint covers Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.
**Source: The NPD Group/ Global Toy Market Report, Annual 2017

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