NPD: US toy market worth US$20.4 billion

Collectibles, outdoor and sports toys all contributed to a 5% rise in US toy sales last year. And the US$760 million from licensed Star Wars stuff didn't hurt.
January 26, 2017

US toy sales grew 5% in 2016 to US$20.4 billion, according to new data from market research firm The NPD Group. The compounded annual growth rate was calculated by comparing the industry in 2016 and 2013.

Just as collectibles were a major contributing factor to growth in the UK toy market, the category grew by 33% stateside to rack up US$1.8 billion. Specifically, sales of blind packs—such as those from Moose Toys’ Shopkins brand—grew by 60% in 2016.

Following collectibles, outdoor and sports toys were big players last year. Sports and summer seasonal toys led this sect, which experienced the largest dollar gains of any super-category at US$328 million.

Additionally, the games segment grew by 21% in 2016, while dolls jumped up by 10%, plush was up 6% and youth electronics rose 3%. A number of categories saw drops in profits, however, including building sets (down 3%) and arts & crafts (down 5%).

The NPD Group highlighted a number of properties that contributed to growth in the US last year, including top-performing Star Wars, which at US$760 million in sales, outdid itself compared to 2015.

Overall, NPD reports retail performance was mixed during the 2016 holiday season. Consumers took advantage of early Cyber Monday promotions during the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but this did not translate into more overall sales.

According to NPD, retailers need to focus on increasing shopping visits earlier in the holiday season, and address the drop in-store impulse purchases as online shopping continues to grow in 2017.

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