NPD: Global Toy Industry Sales Up 30 Percent Compared to Pre-Pandemic 2019 Sales

The following article is based on a press release issued by The NPD Group on November 8, 2022.

November 8, 2022 | Global toy industry sales across the 12 markets tracked by The NPD Group rose by 30 percent when compared to the $28.3 billion generated in 2019 before the pandemic. Sales for the year to date through September 2022 rose 2 percent, reaching $36.7 billion compared to the same period last year.

While sales increased in seven countries, countries that experienced declines include France (-2%), Germany (-5%), the UK (-5%), and Belgium (-7%). The NPD also noted that three-quarters of toy sales unit growth in September came from Brazil and Mexico, where product tied to the World Cup boosted sales results.

Of the 11 toys supercategories tracked by NPD, six saw sales increases versus 2021. Plush toys enjoyed the highest growth, increasing by 32%, followed by action figures and accessories at 12%, explorative and other toys at 10%, and building sets at 5%. Outdoor and sports toys and dolls had the largest sales declines, falling by 7% and 8%, respectively.

The three fastest growing subclasses during the year to date were non-strategic cards and stickers, followed by traditional plush toys, and action figures and collectibles. Growth in all three subclasses were driven by kids and adult collectors. The top declining subclass, skates and skateboards, fell 30% versus last year.

Looking at the five best-selling toy properties this year through September, Pokémon held its top spot, followed by Star Wars, Barbie, Marvel Universe, and Hot Wheels. Licenses continue to drive sales growth globally with 29.8% of dollar sales, up 2 percent year over year, and 5 percent over 2019.

“Unlike many other categories which grew tremendously during the pandemic and then saw sales drop dramatically post-COVID, the global toy market continues to perform and maintain an elevated level of sales,” said Frédérique Tutt, global toys industry analyst at NPD. “As we approach the final quarter of the year, seeing a 2% revenue growth is encouraging for the industry. Once again, toys and games prove their resilience against political and economic uncertainties.”