Port Washington, NY, October 29, 2021 – U.S. toy industry dollar sales increased 17% or $2.3B for January-September 2021, according to The NPD Group. Both unit sales and average selling price (ASP) increased during the period, up 12% and 4% respectively. Q3 2021 dollar sales increased 11%.
Major drivers of growth in Q3 included the child tax credit, fewer promotions, price increases, new toy buyers, high income households, and a continuation of pandemic lifestyles.
Nine of the eleven supercategories tracked by NPD had growth in Q3 2021. Three of the eleven supercategories had growth over 20% and Plush had the fastest growth of 39%. Compared to 2019, ten of the eleven supercategories posted a positive 2-year CAGR.
“While Q3 2021 posted double-digit growth compared to last year, we did experience a slight pull-back in quarter over quarter dollar sales compared to Q1 and Q2 2021, down 6% on average,” said Juli Lennett, U.S. Toys Industry Advisor, “This might have been a consequence of delays in the supply chain.”
The top ten properties in Q3 2021 were Barbie, Pokémon, Star Wars, L.O.L. Surprise!, Fisher-Price, Marvel Universe, Hot Wheels, LEGO Star Wars, Nerf, and Paw Patrol. These top 10 combined grew 17% while the rest of the market grew 9%.
Explorative & Other Toys had the largest dollar gain in Q3 2021 which was driven by gains in NFL, 5 Surprise and the NBA. Building Sets were up 24%, outperforming the market growth. LEGO Star Wars had the largest growth followed by LEGO Creator Expert and Marvel Universe. Plush had the fastest growth of all supercategories, up 39%. Squishmallow topped the growth, followed by Cocomelon and Care Bears. Games/Puzzles grew 13% on top of 14% growth last year. Pokémon dominated the growth in the category followed by Magic: The Gathering and What Do You Meme?.
“With the pandemic lifestyle continuing to fuel the toy industry, adults remain engaged in collecting and playing with toys,” said Juli Lennett, U.S. Toys Industry Advisor, “I expect that some of these adult consumers will continue with this behavior post-pandemic as well.”
*Source: The NPD Group/ Retail Tracking Service, January-September 2021 and Q3 2021