aNb Media News, January 21, 2015

NPD Says Holiday Toys Sales Are Up

The NPD Group is reporting that U.S. retail sales of toys generated $18.08 billion in 2014 compared to $17.46 billion in 2013, an increase of 4 percent. Black Friday and Cyber Monday experienced mixed results of -2 percent and 1 percent, respectively, (compared to the same time periods in 2013). Christmas week sales grew 27 percent, lifting December growth overall to 6 percent, says NPD. Fourth quarter sales (October–December 2014) were up 3 percent.

“From Black Friday week to the week before Christmas, holiday toy sales were looking relatively flat,” said Juli Lennett, president of the toys division at The NPD Group, in a statement. “But with the procrastinators shopping in droves the days before Christmas, perhaps aided by plunging gas prices, the toy industry experienced a Merry Christmas after all.”

In terms of sales performance across super categories in 2014, Building Sets and Youth Electronics experienced the most significant increases at 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively, followed by Action Figures and Games/Puzzles, both increasing 9 percent. Infant/Preschool Toys and All Other Toys were the only categories to experience dollar sales declines when compared to 2013 (-5 percent and -0.4 percent, respectively). Licensed toys, which represented 31 percent of total industry sales, experienced an increase of 7 percent in 2014 compared to 2013.

Disney’s Frozen captured the top spot overall as well as the top gainer among all toy properties for the year based on absolute dollar growth, generating $531 million in 2014. While Frozen did not capture the top spot in any of the 11 super categories NPD tracks, and was the top property in only four of the 100 subclasses (Paint Kits, Fashion Styling and Dress-up, Children’s Puzzles, Electronic Entertainment), the property was represented in 39 different toy categories.

“Frozen was the big news story in the toy industry in 2014,” said Lennett. “It wasn’t due to that one hot toy that was a category killer, but because of the varied breadth and sheer number of toys. Frozen had over 300 different items on store shelves this year.”

NPD’s 2014 Top-Selling Traditional Toy Items Ranked on Dollars

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Figure Assortment from Playmates Toys

My First Disney Princess Frozen Snow Globe Elsa from Jakks Pacific

Hot Wheels Basic Car Assortment from Mattel

LeapFrog Explorer Licensed Software Assortment from LeapFrog

Galaxy Tab 3 Kids 8GB from Samsung

Minecraft Core Steve with Accessory from Jazwares

Zoomer Dino Assortment from Spin Master

Barbie Three-Story Dream Townhouse from Mattel

Nabi 2 8GB Bundle 7-inch Tablet from Fuhu

Disney Frozen Sparkle Doll Assortment from Mattel