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NPD Says Toy Sales Soared 27% In Year-To-Date

U.S. toy industry dollar sales increased +27% or +$1.5B between January and April 2021, according to The NPD Group, one of the leading research groups for consumer products and behavior.

NPD analysts say both unit sales and average selling price (ASP) increased during the period, up +17% and +9% respectively.

Ten of the eleven supercategories tracked by NPD posted double-digit dollar growth versus 2020. Furthermore, all supercategories posted a positive 2-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) with seven supercategories showing double digit growth rates vs. 2019. After experiencing a dollar gain of $324 million, Outdoor & Sports Toys continues to be the largest supercategory with $1.6 billion in sales while Plush had the fastest dollar growth vs. 2020 at +44%.

“As we lap the lockdowns of 2020, the supercategories that had surging growth last year, like Games & Puzzles, appear to be slowing down,” said Juli Lennett, NPD’s vice president and industry advisor for U.S. Toys.  “However, it’s important to realize that sales are still strong for Games & Puzzles in 2021 which is reflected in the 2-year CAGR growth of +34%, the fastest growth compared to 2019 of all supercategories.”

Strategic Trading Cards was the top dollar growth class among all 96 classes tracked by NPD, driven in large part by Pokémon, which was the top growth property year-to-date. While all price points grew, the fastest growth came from price points between $40 and $69.99. One quarter of the growth in this price segment was driven by Strategic Trading Card Games.

Rounding out the top ten properties were Pokémon, Barbie, Star Wars, L.O.L. Surprise!, Marvel Universe, Hot Wheels, Little Tikes, Nerf, LEGO Star Wars, and Funko Pop!. Collectively, these ten properties grew +48% while the rest of the market grew +22% from January to April 2021.

“We can’t understate the impact that federal stimulus payments had on toy industry performance this year,” said Lennett. “The follow up to that will be the child tax credit which will provide cash in the hands of parents each month starting in July and through the end of the year.”

*Source: The NPD Group/ Retail Tracking Service, January-April 2021

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