Full year US toy retail sales are predicted to drop 2% in 2019 compared to last year, according to the Bank of Montreal (BMO). As toycos begin to deck the stores for the holiday season, the Canadian investment bank has outlined its forecast for what the toy industry will look like in the coming months in its 2019 Toy Scout Report.
Overall toy industry sales are down 5.5% for the first nine months of 2019, the bank finds. Consumers’ shift to online shopping is the biggest cause of these declines, according to BMO.
As the holiday season approaches there’s still no breakout toy set to drive traffic to stores or online, according to BMO, echoing what industry analysts Chris Byrne and Rob Corney told Kidscreen earlier this month, who pegged the slump on global industry uncertainty, superhero fatigue and a lull in innovation.
However, upcoming Baby Yoda products could fill that void, BMO capital markets toy and leisure analyst Gerrick Johnson predicts.
The bank’s report draws on data from research firm NPD and looks at the earnings of toycos Mattel, Hasbro, Spin Master, Funko and Jakks Pacific, as well as major retailers Amazon, Walmart, Kohls and Target.
Despite a single breakout that gives parents Jingle All The Way-anxieties, BMO predicted 10 toys that will dominate this holiday season:
- Pop Pops Snotz from Yulu
- L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Dolls from MGA Entertainment
- Blume dolls from Skyrocket
- Juno My Baby Elephant from Spin Master
- X-Power Dozer from JAKKS Pacific
- Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Song Puppet from WowWee
- Hot Wheels Mario Kart die-cast vehicles and track sets from Mattel
- The Heroes of Goo Jit Zu from Moose Toys
- Buttheads figures from WowWee
- Princess dolls inspired by Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” from Hasbro
The list was compiled before the recent surge in the popularity of Baby Yoda, but Disney’s products would have also made the list otherwise, say BMO analyst Johsnon.