Toy industry sales across the globe grew 4% in the first half of 2018 reaching US$18.4 billion, according to market research firm The NPD Group. The growth, unsurprisingly, was led by collectibles including L.O.L. Surprise! (pictured), which was the number-one toy property in all tracked countries.
NPD looked at international sales from January through June across 13 international markets including Mexico, Brazil, the US, Australia, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the UK.
Mexico was the fastest-growing global toy market, with sales up 15% that’s after growing 20% the previous year. Brazil followed with an 11% bump, and the US was in third place with 7% growth, as reported this past week. The US toy industry has generated US$7.9 billion in toy sales so far this year, with growth led by toys priced US$5 to US$19.99, including L.O.L. Surprise!, Fingerlings, Hatchimals and Soft’n Slo Squishes. Australia and Canada are up 4% and 3%, respectively. And Europe, which consists of eight countries tracked by NPD, is down 1% so far this year. Growth in Germany, Russia, Italy and Spain was offset by declines in the other four countries.
The collectible market has increased by 26% globally so far this year, and now accounts for 11% of dollar sales in the total toy industry. The youth electronics segment grew by 29% led by Fingerlings, and sales of miscellaneous toys is up by 12% with the major drivers being Soft’n Slo Squishes, Major League Baseball cards and Panini Russia 2018 World Cup stickers. The games segment also enjoyed some growth, it’s up 12%, thanks to Monopoly, UNO and Exploding Kittens.
The top-ten global toy properties based on dollars for the first six months of 2018 were L.O.L. Surprise!, Total Marvel, Star Wars, Nerf, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Pokemon, PAW Patrol, Total DC Comics and LEGO City. However, NPD notes that it has seen key themes emerge including dinosaurs and unicorns growing in popularity and slime and toilet humor still going strong.