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Toys & Games

Toy Roundup: Top News & Trends

Retail sales of licensed toys and games grew 7.0% to reach $8.06 billion in the U.S./Canada in 2016, according to TLL’s Annual Licensing Business Survey. Here are some of the latest developments in toy trends expected to impact the holiday season. Sales of hobby games in the U.S./Canada reached $1.44 billion in 2016, according to ICv2—growing 21% thanks to growth of collectible, board, and card & dice games in mass markets.

  • Collectible games grew 20%, from $625 million to $750 million in retail sales.
  • Hobby board games, the second largest category, were up 22% from $250 million to $305 million.
  • Roleplaying games, the smallest category, was up by 29%, the largest percentage, from $35 million to $45 million.
  • Hobby card and dice games were up 24%, from $105 million to $130 million.
  • And (non-collectible) miniature games were up 17%, from $175 million to $205 million.

LEGO is unveiling a new Star Wars set on Oct. 1—that is, one month after Force Friday, and two months in advance of The Last Jedi film release. The toy company released a trailer for the set, cryptically confirming that the set will be its largest ever—but with no details. A Reddit post released on April 1 (of all days) implies that it’s likely the set is a re-release of the UCS Millennium Falcon. With over 5,200 pieces and priced at €699.99 (or just about $820) it will be the most expensive set yet. The original release can sell for up to $5,000 in secondary markets.

Funko is set to open a giant flagship store in its new Everett, WA headquarters on Aug. 19. The store is planned to boast 17,00 sq. ft. worth of retail space and serve as a tourist destination for fans. Funko’s blog warns that no camping out is allowed for the grand opening celebrations (ticket required), which include exclusives, food trucks, giveaways, photo ops, and a signing with CEO Brian Mariotti. Giant versions of Groot, Bat Girl, Great Grape Ape, and Harry Potter top the store’s awning.

As Spin Master expands its Hatchimals toy line with new Egg Cartons and Glittering Garden lines, Moose Toys introduces a line of Shopkins Cutie Cars.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 36,000 counterfeit toy airplanes from a rail car trying to cross from Canada into the U.S. While the agency failed to identify the company or companies whose products were being illegally copied, it estimated that their combined retail value would have topped $575,000. The toys originated from China.

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