PERSPECTIVES: Global Outlook for Toys through 2022

July 3, 2018 | Toy News Tuesday editors reached out to Matthew Hudak, toys & games analyst at Euromonitor International, to gain his insight into the factors influencing global toy sales in the near to intermediate term. Here’s what he had to say…

China to Become the Largest Toy Market, While India is on the Rise

The U.S. is currently the largest toys and game market globally, but China is expected to overtake it by 2021. While the country’s traditional toy market is expected to grow swiftly due to an expanding middle class, the vast majority of growth in China will come from mobile gaming as smartphone ownership continues to increase in the country, with 90 percent of households expected to own a device by 2022.

India will be one of the fastest growing countries overall for toys and games. Besides a growing child population driving demand for traditional toys and games, in particular baby and infant and preschool products, the country is also seeing substantial growth in the number of smartphones, which, much like China, is expected to lead to rapid growth in mobile gaming.

Collectibles See Growing Influence in Traditional Toys

Collectibles have become a major selling point within traditional toys. The growing popularity of collectibles became more evident last year as dolls and accessories became one of the fastest growing categories globally at 5.5 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to Euromonitor. The success of LOL Surprise and others is spurring greater collectible toy investment by manufacturers, and is likely to grow the collectible market across toys. However, the long-term potential of this toy type will likely be more muted and the collectible market will likely reach a peak eventually as children move on to new play styles.

Millennials to Aid Toy Sales

Traditional toys have seen a steady sales increase for years, which is expected to continue through 2022, as developed markets look to purchase toys as a tool for child development, and emerging markets reach income levels that make toys affordable. That said, toy companies will have an even more limited time to appeal to children, as kids increasingly move toward gaming and other areas of entertainment at an earlier age. Adults, however, may help offset these losses as many millennials are waiting to have children and are more willing to buy toys that offer a nostalgic reminder of their childhood or favorite licensed characters.

Matthew Hudak is a senior toys and games analyst for Euromonitor International. In his role, he researches and analyzes the consumer trends, key markets, competitive landscape, and growth opportunities influencing the global toys and games industry to help organizations make strategic business decisions.