2015 U.S. Toy Sales Up Nearly 7 Percent


PORT WASHINGTON: According to data from The NPD Group, U.S. toy sales rose by 6.7 percent last year compared to 2014, generating $19.4 billion and driven by the success of Star Wars merchandise, among other factors.

Out of the 11 major categories, nine saw gains in 2015. Games/puzzles led the pack with an increase of 10.8 percent, followed by vehicles at 9.7 percent. The remaining categories with positive performances were building sets at 9.4 percent, outdoor and sports toys at 8.8 percent, action figures and accessories at 8.7 percent, dolls at 8.4 percent, infant/toddler/preschool toys at 5.7 percent, all other toys at 4.3 percent and plush at 1.6 percent. Arts and crafts and youth electronics were down by 4.3 and 4.9 percent, respectively.

Content was a key contributor of growth in the toy industry last year. Movies in total outperformed the market in 2015, up by 9.4 percent. The early release of Star Wars toys helped the property generate more than $700 million in sales, more than Jurassic World, Minions and Avengers combined. What also benefitted toy sales was the fact that Christmas fell on a Friday, allowing consumers to have one extra day of shopping compared to the previous year. As a result, Christmas week grew 25 percent in 2015 and represents 8 percent of all toy sales for the year.

“The toy industry had an incredible year and, as is typically the case, there isn’t one reason; there were a number of factors coming together to grow the industry nearly 7 percent in 2015,” said Juli Lennett, U.S. toys industry analyst at The NPD Group.

NPD also revealed the top ten selling toys for 2015, with the number one being the Shopkins 12 Pack Assortment from Moose Toys. “What was especially interesting to see this year among the top ten selling items was the wide diversity of toys from simple to complex,” noted Lennett. “In addition, among the top toys were evergreen properties like Hot Wheels, Barbie, Star Wars and Ninja Turtles, as well as relatively new properties like Shopkins, Paw Patrol and Minecraft. Price points were also wide ranging, from under $1 to over $150.”