Toy market news

U.S. toy industry sales rise amid inflation

by Juli Lennett, vice president, industry advisor, U.S. toys, The NPD Group

After two years of record-breaking growth in 2020 and 2021, U.S. toy industry dollar sales increased by 2% or $231 million to $11.4 billion for January-June 2022, according to The NPD Group. Unit sales declined 6% and the average selling price (ASP) increased 8% to $11.30. While the growth to date so far this year has been somewhat tempered, it comes after an increase in sales of 18% in 2020 and 20% in 2021. Looking at the three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019-2022, toy industry dollars grew 13%, driven by ASP growth of 11%, while units were up 2% during the same period.*

Across the 13 general merchandise categories that NPD tracks, the toy industry has gained 0.3 share points of the consumer wallet overall year-to-date as of June 2022, underscoring the resiliency of toys during an inflationary period. Furthermore, buyer penetration increased 0.1% resulting in a gain of about 155,000 buyers overall in the first six months of this year. Buyer penetration has been mostly flat all year - which is positive, as it suggests the industry is retaining the substantial increases in new buyers from the last few years. Overall, the toy industry has seen an increase of nearly 16 million buyers compared to 2019.**

Four of the 11 supercategories tracked by NPD posted growth so far this year. Compared to 2019, 10 supercategories posted a positive three-year CAGR. Outdoor and Sports Toys continued to be the largest supercategory with $2.7 billion in sales. Plush had the largest dollar gain of $301 million and the fastest dollar growth of 43%.

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*Source: The NPD Group/ U.S. Toys Retail Tracking Service, January-June 2022**Source: The NPD Group/Checkout/U.S. Toys