Circana reports on 2023 global toy industry retail sales

Published on: 30th January 2024

Circana has now released the 2023 toy sales performance figures across all global markets that make up the G12.


Across the G12, comprising Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States, sales declined by 7% in 2023, versus 2022, but were 17% higher when compared to pre-pandemic 2019, according to Circana’s Retail Tracking Service.

In 2023, the average selling price was up 1%, year over year, and increased by 18% versus 2019. Also last year, two of the 11 toys supercategories tracked by Circana experienced a year-on-year sales increase within the G12. Building Sets took the top spot in terms of sales growth (+4%), followed by Plush (+3%). Strategic Trading Card Games and Vehicles also posted gains. All four of these sub-segments posted growth for the fourth year in a row.

Licensed toys account for 31.1% of the total toy market, highlighting the continued importance of characters and franchises in driving sales. Pokémon retained its crown as the top-selling toy property globally, followed by familiar classics like Barbie, Star Wars, Marvel Universe and Hot Wheels. Notably, Lego Icons emerged as the top gaining property, reflecting the trend towards toys targeted at older consumers, or kidults.

“With inflation at the highest level we have seen in decades and birth rates at their lowest in many countries, the global toy industry faced new challenges in 2023,” said Frédérique Tutt, global toys industry advisor at Circana. “Consumers across many regions had to make difficult trade-offs and reduced their spending on toys and games. We saw different regions reacting differently to these economic challenges, with Europe contracting back to 2019 levels while US sales remained 26% higher compared to 2019. As economies continue to improve, the industry should experience some respite in 2024, particularly as the flow of new products and innovations re-introduce the wow factor and encourage engagement. This should help to stabilise sales.”


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