Despite the US toy market seeing overall gains during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping periods, overall 2013 retail dollar sales of toys saw a 1% drop over 2012. That’s according to research firm The NPD Group, which found that the largest sales growth occurred within the youth electronics category.
NPD says that the entire year could have been impacted by a holiday shopping season that was six days shorter than the one in 2012.
The weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have seen respective sales increases of 4% and 24% compared to the same time periods in 2012, but the remaining weeks experienced softer sales than in 2012. Fourth quarter sales for 2013 were down 1%.
In terms of sales performance across major categories in 2013, youth electronics and arts & crafts experienced the most significant increases at 18% and 8%, respectively. Tablet sales helped propel the electronics category forward, as did the momentum in robotics and interactive playmates such as Spin Master’s Zoomer robot and Flutterbye Fairy flying doll (pictured).
Building sets and plush categories saw respective revenue increases of 1% and 2%, while action figures and infant/preschool toys experienced the largest dollar sales declines when compared to 2012 at 6% and 4%, respectively.
Licensed toys experienced an increase of 3% in 2013, representing 31% of total industry sales. Disney had three of the top five absolute dollar growth properties, including Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, and Disney Planes. Nickelodeon’s Ninja Turtles and Lego Legends of Chima also claimed spots in the top five growth properties.
Overall, top properties for the year based on total dollar sales (in alphabetical order) included Barbie, Disney Princess, Monster High, Nerf and Star Wars – providing an interesting juxtaposition of both new and classic brands.