Industry sales increased 15% vs. 2020, and 28% vs. 2019 

Port Washington, NY, August 6, 2021 – Looking across the 12 global markets (G12)* tracked by The NPD Group, toy industry sales increased by 15% ** to $22.45 billion in the first half (1H) of 2021 vs. the same time period in 2020, and 28% when compared to the $17.59 billion generated in 1H 2019.

First-half 2021 sales increased in all countries vs. 1H 2020, though sales were down in Spain and Brazil when compared to 1H 2019, declining 10% and 15%, respectively. Sales increased in all other countries when compared to 1H 2019, with U.S. and Germany experiencing the highest sales increases, at 40%, 23%, respectively, followed by Canada (20%), Belgium (19%), Netherlands (19%), and Russia (19%).

In the first half of the year, the 11 toys supercategories tracked by NPD in G12 countries saw sales increase vs. 1H 2020. However, 1H 2021 sales saw higher growth in seven of the categories when compared to 1H 2019, led by Games/Puzzles and Outdoor & Sports Toys, which generated the most revenue and experienced the highest growth at 59% and 38%, respectively. Infant/Toddler/Preschool Toys (14%), Dolls (10%), and Building Sets (38%) ranked in the top five for revenue. 

Of the 29 toys subsegments, only two experienced declines in revenue vs. 1H 2019: Playset Dolls & Acc., which declined 34%; and Battling Toys & Playsets with an 8% decrease in sales. The highest subsegment growth was seen in Strategic Trading Card Games, which increased 136%, from $341.7 million in the first half of 2019, to $805.8 million in the first half of 2021, driven by Pokémon, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. 

Looking at the top five selling toy properties across the G12 in the first half of this year, Pokémon was the largest property, followed by Barbie, Star Wars, L.O.L. Surprise!, and Marvel Universe. 

“We are delighted to report continuous strong growth for the toy market globally,” said Frédérique Tutt, Global Toys Industry Analyst at The NPD Group. “Even though COVID-19 restrictions are easing in most countries, consumers continue to turn to toys and games for their entertainment. Whether it is collectible cards, building sets or outdoor toys, demand is still very strong, which is promising as the industry is now preparing for the holiday season.”

*NPD’s Global Toys footprint covers Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. G12 excludes China & Australia

**Source: The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, $ Sales adjusted & projected / January-June 2021. Volumes for Italy for March, April and May 2020 have been averaged due to temporary COVID-19 data disruption.



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David Riley

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