American toy retailers were hardly in the red during this past Black Friday, according to market research firm The NPD Group, which found that toy sales were up 4% during the shopping week compared with the same period in 2012.
Overall toy sales are up 6% so far this holiday shopping season, which began after the back-to-school period. Encouragingly, the growth is due to shoppers buying more toys and opposed to being driven by price inflation.
NPD says that of the 11 super categories it tracks in the toy sector, seven experienced positive dollar sales growth. Those with the highest growth over 2012 include youth electronics with a 29% gain, plush with 23% growth, arts & crafts at 13% and outdoor and sports with 11%.
Among the popular electronics on kids’ wish lists are Nabi tablets and robotic pets like Zoomer (pictured). However, classic properties like Barbie and Easy-Bake ovens are still pulling in sales, which falls in line with NPD’s research this past summer that found parents are maintaining interest in traditional toys, including games.