In the first half of 2015, the U.S. toy industry grew by 6.5 percent, or about $400 million, according to global information company The NPD Group. For the past four years, 34 percent of toy sales have occurred in the first half of the year, and using the same methodology NPD estimates that the industry will be up 6.2 percent, or just over $1 billion, for full-year 2015.
“With this kind of sales performance, 2015 could be one of the best years the U.S. toy industry has seen in well over a decade,” said Juli Lennett, senior vice president of the U.S. toys division at The NPD Group. “The success of Disney Frozen, Minecraft, Shopkins, and Paw Patrol are some of the key reasons why 2015 has thus far been a particularly robust year for toys.”
Despite the fact that Outdoor & Sports Toys—the largest super category based on dollar volume—had the most significant dollar gains during the first half of the year, Youth Electronics grew the fastest.
The two largest trend shifts seen year-to-date versus annual 2014 are in the Infant/Preschool Toys and Arts & Crafts categories. In 2014, Infant/Preschool Toys experienced the largest dollar declines, but is now number two in dollar gains. Conversely, while Arts & Crafts ended last year on the plus side, it is the only super category to experience declines.
“There are certain events that will likely make the close of 2015 even better for the toy industry,” added Lennett. “For example, the recent retailer promotions during the week of July 13 helped cause a surge of 16 percent growth in the toy industry. Also, with the movie releases of Minions and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens falling in the second half, and continued momentum from Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and others, licensed toys will continue to invigorate toy sales.”