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Toy Story

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A new report just out from The NPD Group shows U.S. toy industry dollar sales grew by 1% ($63 million) January-April, though unit sales were down 6%. According to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service, toys’ average sales price increased to $11.17, up 7%. From 2019 to this year, the three-year compound annual growth rate was 13% year-over-year.

Of the 11 supercategories tracked by NPD, five grew this year. Outdoor & Sports Toys hangs on to the top spot, with $1.3 billion in sales. But plush toys boasted the largest dollar gain ($223 million) and the fastest dollar growth of 43%.

If you sell toys, I’m sure you know the top sellers. But, if you’re considering getting into the business, the main drivers of growth in the plush category were Squishmallows, Magic Mixies, and Disney All Other. In fact, Squishmallows claimed 8 of the top 15 selling toys for the entire toy industry.

Explorative & Other Toys were up 36%, led by the NBA and NFL merchandise, followed by Disney All Other. Also seeing double-digit growth—Action Figures & Accessories products. Funko Pop grew the most, followed by DC Universe and Marvel Universe. Building Sets, led by LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Creator Expert, and DC Universe, was up 7%.

Juli Lennett, U.S. Toy Industry Advisor, says, “The decline in units was not unexpected. [But] the strong increase in average selling prices for the third year in a row was unexpected and drove the growth over last year.” And she adds, “Although we are in the middle of a challenging economic cycle, parents will not miss important occasions to buy toys for their children. However, we might see some consumers trading down or looking for sales to get those toys.”

Most consumers today are still looking for a deal or promotion before making a purchase, so be sure to figure that into your sales strategies.


Photo Courtesy: Jazwares Squishmallows

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