New data from global market research company Euromonitor International shows that games and puzzles are outpacing construction toys as the fastest-growing toy category. According to the firm’s latest research findings, the games and puzzles category recorded its highest global growth last year—up 8% to US$9.5 billion—since 2002.
North America accounts for one third of global games and puzzles sales, at US$3.2 billion. The category grew 14% last year in North America, while construction toys saw a decline of 1.6% in the region. The drop represents the first negative growth for the construction category in North America over the past five years.
Globally, construction toys grew 7.8% in 2016 compared to double-digit growth from 2015, but the category continued to hold the largest share of the traditional toys and games market at US$10 billion. (And construction toys are expected to make a comeback as the fastest-growing toys category globally, according to Euromonitor, with a forecasted compound annual growth rate of 6.8% from 2016 to 2021.)
The report suggests that adult interest in games and puzzles is contributing to the category’s growth in a way that previous generations did not experience. Therefore, industry sects with proven multi-generational appeal like construction, remote control and action figures are expected to see similar growth spikes over the next five years, predicts Euromonitor.
The findings fall in line with recent stats from market research firm The NPD Group, which reported that the US games and puzzles category grew by 18% in 2016 to US$307 million. And research shows every type of game is fueling this uptick, from family strategy and board games, to preschool-skewing ones.
To take advantage of the boom, Toronto’s Spin Master recently acquired the assets of bankrupt brain game retailer Marbles, while Rhode Island-based Hasbro saw games lead to significant growth in Q1 2017. In fact, the category posted 43% growth in revenue to the tune of US$142.9 million for the toymaker. Revenue was driven by new titles like Fantastic Gymnastics, digital gaming sales and the viral sensation Pie-Face (pictured).