Industry Outlook

Collectibles: Q&A with The Toy Association’s Anne McConnell

By Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association

The Toy Association’s Anne McConnell, senior director of market research and data strategy, offers her perspective on the toy collectibles trend and shares details on new research offered by the trade association.

Why are toy collectibles so popular with kids these days?

McConnell: Global sales of collectibles jumped by 26 percent in the first half of the year and account for 11 percent of dollar sales in the total toy industry, according to The NPD Group, making this a hot area for toy manufacturers. Kids love these exciting items, which includes toys in blind bags, mini-figures, or those playthings with an unboxing component, because there is an element of surprise to the toy as well as the hunt for a rare or coveted figure. It also doesn’t hurt that many of these toys are affordable, making them hard to say no to by parents and easily accessible for kids to spend their own pocket money on.

What resources does The Toy Association offer to toy companies looking to compete in the collectibles market?

McConnell: The Toy Association offers industry reports packed with actionable content to help toy companies grow their businesses. With collectibles being seen across toy categories, we reached out to The NPD Group to conduct in-depth research to help companies learn more about this popular sub-segment of toys and who is buying them.

What are some key topics addressed the report?

McConnell: The comprehensive report, titled “The U.S. Toy Collector,” takes a look at toy collectors of all ages across multiple toy categories including: action figures, mini-figures and figurines; dolls and accessories; plush; sticker and cards; toy vehicles; and other toys. It also highlights detailed information on the size and value of their collections; motivations for collecting; shopping habits and retailer preferences; cross-category collecting; and segments collectors by unifying characteristics. It is a very rich report, jam-packed with useful information for companies looking to expand into this market.

Anything else to add?

McConnell: The Toy Association recently held a webinar with NPD’s Juli Lennett who shared key findings in the report. Members may access a recording of the webinar online.

The in-depth report is now available online to Toy Association member companies in the Research & Data section of the Association’s website. Members may also contact Anne McConnell with questions about this report.