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US toy sales holding up: NPD

Despite the economic crisis, the toy industry has been more or less weathering the storm, according to Port Washington-based market researcher The NPD Group.
August 18, 2009

Despite the economic crisis, the toy industry has been more or less weathering the storm, according to Port Washington-based market researcher The NPD Group.

NPD reports that US toy sales were only down 2%, generating US$21.6 billion dollars for the 12 months ending June 2009, also seeing a 2% decline in the first six months of this year, at US$7.81 billion from YTD June 2009 compared to US$7.95 billion from the previous June.

Though most supercategories took a dip, construction toys saw a healthy 20% spike to sit at US$0.34 billion YTD. Action figures & accessories, and role play were up 13% to US$0.65 billion, versus US$0.57 billion last year. Arts & crafts rounds out the top-three supercategories with an increase of 6% (US$1.07 billion from US$1.01 billion).

Industry analyst Anita Frazier notes that the sales of web-connected toys like Webkinz have been slowing down, marking a sizeable 43% decline in YTD sales, compared to the first six months of 2008.

The industry’s sweet spot demo remains kids five and under. Goods targeting the demo accounted for 47% of total industry sales for the first half of 2009. Dollar sales for kids between the ages of three and five declined 6%.

Frazier also says major retailer private label toy brands saw a modest 2% bump in dollar sales this year, though the average retail price of those toys has dropped by 1%.

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