Sales Up for U.S. Toy Industry


PORT WASHINGTON: In the first half of this year, U.S. toy sales were up by 7.5 percent, according to the NPD Group, outpacing last year’s growth rates.

For the year as a whole, NPD forecasts an increase of 7 percent, or $1.4 billion. “I expect to see continued growth for the U.S. toy industry for the remainder of 2016 and, if it reaches 7 percent for year-end, that would be the fastest growth of the U.S. toy market since 1999,” said Juli Lennett, senior VP and U.S. toys industry analyst at NPD Group. “Toys with movie tie-ins will continue to contribute to the increase, stemming from those released both in 2015 and 2016. Television, over-the-top and other content providers, like YouTube and social media, will also continue to drive growth.”

In the period from January through June, Star Wars was the top property, followed by NERF, Shopkins, Pokemon, Barbie, LEGO Star Wars, Little Tikes, Frozen, Hot Wheels and Minecraft.

The biggest gains were seen in the outdoor and sports toys category, followed by dolls, action figures, games/puzzles, preschool, plush and then vehicles. Sales were down for arts and crafts and youth electronics.

“I believe some of this explosion in outdoor and sports is a result of Millennials seeking a healthier, outdoor lifestyle for their kids, as well as looking for more laugh-out-loud experiences with play, minus the rules and directions,” said Lennett. “I will be interested to see what new toys will help kids create this type of experience during the fall and winter months.”