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Toys & Games

Both Toys & Games Set to Grow for 2018

Contact the Editor at karina@plainlanguagemedia.com.

American toy sales were up 7% to reach $7.9 billion in the first half of 2018, according to The NPD Group. The research firm logged significant gains in lower-priced toys (ranging from $5–19.99) including L.O.L. Surprise!, Total Marvel, Fingerlings, Hatchimals and Soft’n Slo Squishies.

Youth electronics was the fastest growing super-category with a 43% uptick. The category includes brands like Fingerlings, Star Wars, and Tamagotchi. Growth within the category is projected by the NPD to increase in the next year and a half, primarily influenced by robotic/interactive playmates and new developments in tech.

Action figures and accessories grew by 16% in the half-year period. The category was bolstered by films like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.

The doll category was up by 17% due in part to L.O.L. Surprise!, Hatchimals, and Barbie—which captured more than two-thirds of growth. The NPD estimates that fashion dolls, role play, and large dolls will perform well in the second part of 2019, driven by the release of Frozen 2 in November 2019.

Separately, ICv2 reports that sales of hobby games in the U.S./Canada topped $1.5 billion for the first time in 2017, up 8% to reach $1.55 billion. ICv2 notes that the 8% growth rate was the slowest, in both absolute dollars and percentage, since its started tracking sales in 2013.

  • Collectible games, the largest category, shrank 3%, from $750 million in 2016 to $725 million in 2017.
  • Hobby board games, the second largest category, grew 13% from $305 million in 2016 to $345 million in 2017, another big jump for a hot category.
  • Non-collectible miniatures had the fastest growth rate at 32%, up from $205 million in 2016 to $270 million in 2017.
  • Hobby card and dice games grew 15%, from $130 million in 2016 to $150 million in 2017.
  • Role-playing games, the smallest category, was up 22% from $45 million in 2016 to $55 million in 2017.

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