Across the 13 international markets tracked by NPD, sales reached $18.4b, up 4% on last year.
In terms of individual countries, Mexico grew the fastest, up 15%, while Brazil followed with 11% growth, then the United States with a 7% increase. Europe posted a 1% decline as growth in Germany, Russia, Italy and Spain was offset by slight declines in other countries.
“Traditional play patterns, collectibles, social media and innovation are the major themes we saw trending globally in the first six months of the year, and I expect they will continue to accelerate. More than entertainment, brands have been an important trend to move the needle for the industry so far this year,” said Frédérique Tutt, global toys industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Some key themes have also emerged or have been increasing in popularity, such as dinosaurs and unicorns on the one hand, and slime or toilet humour on the other.”
The collectibles market continued to enjoy success in the first half of the year, led by the popularity of L.O.L. Surprise!, ranked as the No.1 toy property in all 13 countries combined. Global sales of collectibles increased by 26%, and now account for 11% of sales in the total toy industry. Led by Fingerlings, the youth electronics segment grew by 29%. Sales of miscellaneous toys grew by 12% with the major drivers being Soft’n Slow Squishies, Major League Baseball cards and Panini Russia 2018 World Cup stickers. The games segment (excluding strategic card games) grew sales by 12% with Monopoly, UNO, and Exploding Kittens among the contributors to its success.
Top 10 Global Toy Properties January-June 2018
1. L.O.L. Surprise!
3. Star Wars
6. Hot Wheels
8. Paw Patrol
9. DC Comics
10. Lego City
The report also highlights that the global toy industry has been growing steadily since 2012, as has the global spend per child. North America remains the largest region, driven by the United States, (the world’s largest toy market), while Asia is the strongest growth prospect, having grown by 21% in the last five years. NPD forecasts the global toy market to reach $99b in 2022.
“As domestic markets become more and more mature, manufacturers and retailers are looking at new territories to find growth.,” added Frédérique.