Dolls get lots of play in China

Online sales in the region grew by 6.5% to US$2.6 billion between January and June 2021, thanks in large part to traditional toys like dolls and action figures.
August 17, 2021

Are kids finally getting sick of screens? New data from market research firm The NPD Group shows that dolls and action figures boosted e-commerce sales for China’s toy industry in the first half of 2021, while growth in electronics slowed down.

Overall, online sales for the period were up 6.5% to US$2.6 billion, compared to the same period last year. This growth was led by dolls (up 43%) and action figures (up 26%), with the playset dolls and accessories segment registering the highest growth rate (99%), thanks to blind-box items.

Other categories that experienced an uptick were explorative toys (up 28%), vehicles (up 17%), games and puzzles (up 13%), plush (up 11%) and building sets (up 5%). Online sales of youth electronics, by comparison, increased justĀ 4% between January and June 2021.

Outdoor and sports toys (down 8%) and arts and crafts products (down 3%) both posted e-commerce declines during the first half of the year in China. That’s in contrast with the US, where sales of outdoor and sports toys grew by 11% in the same period.

The infant, toddler and preschool toys category in China stayed relatively steady, with less than 1% growth during the first half of the year.

Top licenses in China through June 2021 included Ultraman, Disney Frozen, Harry Potter and Mini Force.

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