Home Blog 2018 Black Panther’s a Toy Aisle Winner

The NPD Group Blog

Insights and Opinions From Analysts and Experts in More Than 20 Industries

Black Panther: The Newest Hit in the Toy Aisle

Mar 8, 2018
Juli Lennett, Senior Vice President, Industry Advisor ;

On Sunday evening, I just happened to catch Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue of the Academy Awards. During those few minutes, he said a joke that likely struck a chord with every minority and woman watching. He said, Black Panther and Wonder Woman were massive hits, which is almost a miracle because I remember a time when studio heads didn’t think a woman or a minority could open a superhero movie—and I remember that time because it was March of last year.”

While it struck a chord with me, too, I put it out of my mind as I flipped to another channel.

On Monday, that joke crossed my mind again when NPD’s weekly data for U.S. toys was released. When looking at which licenses were rising in the ranks, low and behold, there was Black Panther coming in as the #3 license for the week ending February 24, the first full week after the movie’s release on February 12. I thought to myself, “I wonder if the toy industry had low expectations for this movie?”

So, I did a little digging into some of the advanced measures in the data.

For the month of January, before the movie was released, Black Panther was already well-distributed and in 87 percent of the stores by dollar volume that we have in our POS panel. Thumbs up for the channel; they were selling it. And, when looking at the weighted velocity per item carried in January, Black Panther items were already moving off the shelf faster than the items tied to other movies from last year in the month before their movie releases, with the exception of Star Wars and Transformers. The Black Panther toys seemed to be resonating with consumers.

What was interesting was that, among the stores carrying Black Panther toys, stores only carried 11 toys on average. This was similar to what we saw with Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, and Thor. Compared to other big action movies, this was nearly half the number of toys carried on average for Justice League, one-third of Power Rangers, and one-quarter of Spider-Man. Not planning for a broader assortment of Black Panther toys might have been a miss in this case.

It would appear that, not only does the motion picture industry have the wrong idea about a minority or woman opening a superhero movie, but perhaps the toy industry might learn a thing or two from Black Panther as well. With these initial figures coming in for January and several weeks of February, it looks like Black Panther is going to not only be a success at the box office, but will also be a success story for the toy industry, which so badly needs a feel-good story right now. I, for one, am rooting for Black Panther to be a big success in the toy aisle.

Related Blog Posts

March 8, 2018

Black Panther: The Newest Hit in the Toy Aisle

Jimmy Kimmel was onto something when he called out Black Panther’s box office success during the Oscars. It’s shaping up to be a success in the toy aisle, too, and the toy industry should not underestimate it.

March 1, 2018

Post-Toy Fair Blues

Globally, fewer toys were sold during Holiday 2017 than 2016. Why? How can this be overturned? Frédérique Tutt explores how parents shopped, and what opportunities lie between the challenges facing the toy industry today.

November 21, 2017

Let’s Reconsider Discounting Toys for Christmas

Rather than discount toys during Christmas, the industry needs to consider occasions outside of this peak season to generate growth. From Women’s Day to Chinese New Year, there are examples around the globe.

July 18, 2017

You’ve Heard of KGOY, But What About AGYO?

I’m sure many of you have felt this same feeling as I have… I might look older on the outside, but I feel like I’m still 25 on the inside. I’m a grown woman with teenagers, but sometimes I want to act more like them than the Baby Boomer I am!


Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View our privacy policy.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.