U.S. toy industry dollar sales increased 27% or $1.5B between January and April 2021, according to The NPD Group. Both unit sales and average selling price (ASP) increased during the period, up 17% and 9% respectively.
NPD tracked 11 supercategories, 10 of which posted double-digit dollar growth versus 2020. All supercategories posted a positive two-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR), with seven supercategories showing double digit growth rates vs. 2019.
With a dollar gain of $324 million, Outdoor & Sports Toys has remained the largest supercategory with $1.6 billion in sales, while Plush showed the fastest dollar growth vs. 2020 with an increase of 44%.
The top 10 properties consisted of: Pokémon, Barbie, Star Wars, L.O.L. Surprise!, Marvel Universe, Hot Wheels, Little Tikes, Nerf, LEGO Star Wars, and Funko Pop!. These properties collectively grew 48% while the rest of the market grew 22% in the January-April 2021 period.
Strategic Trading Cards was the top dollar growth class among all 96 classes tracked by NPD, driven in large part by Pokémon, which was the top growth property year-to-date. While all price points grew, the fastest growth came from price points between $40 and $69.99. One quarter of the growth in this price segment was driven by Strategic Trading Card Games.
“As we lap the lockdowns of 2020, the supercategories that had surging growth last year, like Games & Puzzles, appear to be slowing down,” said Juli Lennett, vice president and industry advisor, U.S. Toys, The NPD Group. “However, it’s important to realize that sales are still strong for Games & Puzzles in 2021 which is reflected in the two-year CAGR growth of 34%, the fastest growth compared to 2019 of all supercategories.”
Lennett added, “We can’t understate the impact that federal stimulus payments had on toy industry performance this year. The follow up to that will be the child tax credit which will provide cash in the hands of parents each month starting in July and through the end of the year.”