NPD reports 27% growth for US toy sales

Published on: 9th June 2021

Ten of the eleven supercategories posted double-digit growth versus 2020, while the top ten licensed properties grew +48%.

first half toy sales

In the US, dollar sales increased +27% or +$1.5b between January and April 2021, while 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. All supercategories posted a positive two year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) with seven supercategories showing double digit growth rates vs. 2019. After experiencing a dollar gain of $324m, Outdoor & Sports Toys continues to be the largest supercategory with $1.6b 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, vice president and industry advisor, US Toys, The NPD Group. “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 gaining property year-to-date. While all price points grew, NPD said the fastest increases 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,” added Juli 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.”



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