Port Washington, NY, August 11, 2022 – U.S. toy industry dollar sales increased by 2% or +$231MM to $11.4B in sales for January-June 2022, according to The NPD Group. Unit sales declined 6% and ASP of $11.30 increased 8%.
While the growth to date in 2022 has been somewhat tempered, it comes after two years of record-breaking sales in 2021 and 2020 when U.S. toy industry sales increased 20% and 18%, respectively. The average selling price of $11.30 was up +8%, somewhat in line with the annual inflation rate. However, this is on top of 6% growth last year and 19% growth the year before.
Four of the 11 supercategories tracked by NPD posted growth in 2022. Compared to 2019, ten supercategories posted a positive 3-year CAGR. Outdoor & Sports Toys continued to be the largest supercategory with $2.7 billion in sales. Plush had the largest dollar gain of $301 million and the fastest dollar growth of 43%.
“While the toy industry has pulled back to growth of 2%, this is remarkable as only 6 of the 14 industries that NPD tracks posted growth at all in the first half of 2022 following two years of extraordinary consumer spending,” said Juli Lennett, U.S. Toys Industry Advisor, “This speaks to the resiliency of the U.S. toy industry during these uncertain economic times.”
Drivers of Change and Top Properties
Looking at the Plush supercategory, Squishmallows, Magic Mixies and Disney were the main drivers of growth. Squishmallows had 7 of the top 15 selling toys for the total toy industry YTD January-June 2022. Explorative & Other Toys grew 28%. NBA, NFL & MLB dominated the growth in the category with sports trading cards. Action Figures & Accessories also grew double digits. With the release of Jurassic World: Dominion in June, the Jurassic World property had the largest growth, followed by Funko Pop! and Sonic the Hedgehog which also had a movie release in April. Lastly, Building Sets was up 8% with LEGO Star Wars driving the largest amount of growth followed by LEGO Creator Expert and LEGO Technic.
Consumer Insights for YTD June 2022
Using NPD’s proprietary Checkout data, 4 key consumer insights have been identified for YTD June 2022.
- Adults with no children in the household outpaced households with children. Households without children grew 4% while those with children grew only 1%.
- Households with income $100k+ grew 6% while those with income <$50k declined 2%.
- Buyer penetration increased 0.1% resulting in a gain of about 155k buyers overall. Buyer penetration has been mostly flat all year which is positive as it suggests the industry is retaining the substantial increases in new buyers over the last few years. Overall, the toy industry has seen an increase of nearly 16MM buyers compared to 2019.
- Consumers are making fewer trips to buy toys, are buying fewer toys per trip but are spending more money. The trend of making fewer trips and buying fewer toys is being driven by physical stores whereas, in the online channel, consumers are making more trips and are buying more toys per trip—resulting in stronger growth in the online channel.
“Despite what appears to be some challenging times ahead for the U.S. consumer, I expect the toy industry to continue to outperform other general merchandise categories for the remainder of the year,” said Lennett.
*Source: The NPD Group Inc./ Retail Tracking Service, January-June 2022
**Source: The NPD Group/Checkout/U.S. Toys