Exclusive: Toys in lockdown – latest NPD data

Published on: 3rd March 2021

NPD’s Moneeba Baloch looks at the latest data for early part of 2021, and examines the fastest growing themes of the year so far.

NPD’s data for the first month of 2021 suggests a continuation of the trends the industry experienced in 2020. The market continues to perform well with the month of January up +3%. Consumers have bought fewer toys this month – 1.4m units down versus 2020 – but crucially they have spent more, with the market valued over £95m for January. We saw a similar trend last year in lockdown No.1; toy sales grew by +22%. So far, the January results indicate that 2021 seems to be a continuation of what we saw last year. As we move towards the end of the third national lockdown, Moneeba breaks down just how consumers in the toy market have been spending, highlighting the categories and brands that have enjoyed particular success – with some predictable, and some more surprising, results.

One of the main trends seen in 2020 was that consumers replaced impulse purchasing with considered purchasing. There was a move to higher priced toys, as impulse occasions were lost due to non-essential store closures, and figures show that the same trends are evident so far this year.

Moneeba also shares early reads on the first week of February, which shows similarly encouraging data. The week saw another seven days of extraordinary growth, up +18% YOY. Fewer toys are still being bought with unit downs -4%, but the total market for the week is valued at over £26m. With plans to exit lockdown now laid out by the government and the vaccination programme progressing nicely, she predicts that the second half of this year will be an interesting period for the toy market.

To read more, and find out which lines have shown notable item progression, and which themes are the fastest growing, read the full article, which appeared in the March edition of Toy World, here.


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