The NPD Group tracks 12 global markets, and reports that the US is on par with the world’s collective performance.
Partially driven by inflation, Mexico and Russia grew the fastest, with sales in these countries up 12% and 11% respectively. The United Kingdom, France, and Australia experienced declines, while sales were flat in Germany and Italy.
All Other Toys, Plush, and Dolls were the fastest-growing supercategories both globally and in the US. Globally, All Other Toys grew its sales by 14%, driven by fidget toys, which started to grow around Easter and peaked at the end of June, and slime kits. Plush sales increased by 6%, with Hatchimals the largest contributor and Furreal Friends also showing solid growth. Dolls grew by 5%, led by L.O.L. Surprise!. Hatchimals CollEGGtibles was also a notable contributor to the growth in Dolls.
Collectibles have been a leader of growth in the toy industry, driven by blind packs. The global collectibles market grew by 14% to $3.9 billion, helped by the international popularity of L.O.L. Surprise!, Hatchimals, and Lego Minifigures. Collectibles accounted for about 8% of total industry dollar sales.
The Games/Puzzles supercategory grew its sales by 3% both globally and in the US. The bulk of the growth came during the first eight months of the year, mostly due to gains in Pokémon, as a result of the summer 2016 release of Pokémon Go.