US toy industry sales are expected to grow in 2020 and 2021, according to The NPD Group’s new The Future of Toys report. The categories expected to post growth through 2021 include action figures and accessories, arts and crafts, building sets, dolls, games and puzzles, and outdoor and sports toys.
According to NPD, the action figures and accessories, dolls, and games and puzzles categories are expected to show the strongest growth for fiscal 2019. From January 2019 through August, the action figures and accessories category reported the strongest performance due to brands like Toy Story, Fortnite, Bakugan and Beyblade.
The dolls category, meanwhile, has been performing on par with the total US toy industry year-to-date through August, but NPD expects the category will show increases due to continuing growth for the L.O.L. Surprise! (pictured) and Barbie brands, as well as the upcoming November release of Frozen 2.
The games and puzzles category has also been relatively flat this year, despite significant growth in the strategic trading cards games subcategory (driven by Pokémon and Magic: the Gathering). NPD anticipates that social media sharing of games and more consumers staying home for entertainment will drive growth for the games and puzzles category through 2020 and 2021.
According to the report, sales figures for the first half of 2019 fell 9% because the same period in 2018 featured significant increases for the US toy industry due to Toys “R” Us liquidation sales. Toys “R” Us stores will be back in the US for the holiday season, with Tru Kids Brands opening smaller-footprint locations in Texas and New Jersey (additional stores are expected to open across the US throughout 2020).