The US toy industry is reaping the benefits of a fruitful summer box office season, with sales of licensed toys up 4% for the months of May and June, according to research firm The NPD Group.
Retail sales of licensed sport toys increased 12%, while licensed action figure toys saw a 20% jump. All other licensed categories, which include racing, comic book-based and video game-based toys, have increased by 2%. These jumps are in relation to a decline in all other toys of close to 2%.
The top five licenses that saw the largest percentage increase in dollars during the first half of the summer by alphabetical order were Doc McStuffins (Disney Consumer Products), Iron Man (Marvel/DCP), Monsters Inc. (DCP), Superman (Warner Bros.) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nickelodeon Consumer Products).
Fittingly, Iron Man 3, Monsters University and Man of Steel hold three out of four positions in the top summer box office rankings. The summer box office is up 11% over the same period last year, which is helping to drive mass market appeal of licensed toys.
According to NPD’s recent Evolution of Play report, 56% of parents said that a license was an important factor when it came to shopping for toys, and more than 60% of kids ages nine and under have at least one favorite license.