Toy industry sales are up 3% from January through June 2017 across the global markets tracked by The NPD Group. The global information company estimates that the industry will grow approximately 4% for the full year.
Mexico and Russia grew the fastest, with toy sales in these countries up 20% and 14%, respectively, with toy sales in the United States experiencing a modest increase of 3%. Australia and the United Kingdom were the only two countries tracked by NPD that experienced declines (2% and 1%, respectively).
“Many family-friendly movies are still due to be released across the globe in the second half of 2017, and I expect the industry will get a boost thanks to entertainment,” says Frédérique Tutt, global toys industry analyst at The NPD Group. “This will be driven especially by the more toyetic movies including Star Wars, Cars 3, Transformers, and Spider-Man.”
The collectibles market continued to experience double-digit growth in the first half of 2017, helped by the international popularity of L.O.L Surprise, Pokémon cards, and Hatchimals. Global sales of collectibles increased by 15% and now account for close to 10% of dollar sales in the total market. In terms of supercategory performance, Games/Puzzles was the top gainer, with dollar sales up 19%. The fidget spinner craze drove growth within All Other Toys, with sales in this supercategory up 10%. Outdoor & Sports Toys, the largest supercategory, grew its sales by 2%. Building Sets and Action Figures both lost traction, with sales down 6% and 9%, respectively.
“In the first half of 2017, we saw the tangible impact of social media in causing viral toys successes,” Tutt says. “While in years past it would have taken something like fidget spinners months to travel internationally, today, social media outlets are allowing consumers around the world to discover new toys at the same time. Trends are amplifying quickly and becoming more widespread, which is both a challenge and an opportunity for the industry.”