New York, NY, January 28, 2019 – The NPD Group, a leading global information company, today announced U.S. retail sales of toys generated $21.6 billion in 2018 compared to $22.0 billion in 2017, a decline of 2 percent*. The 2 percent decline comes after four straight years of growth in the toy industry.
“After the liquidation announcement of Toys‟R”Us last year, there was a great deal of speculation about what would happen to the industry, with some predicting double-digit declines,” said Juli Lennett, vice president and industry advisor, Toys, The NPD Group. “Overall, a two percent decline is a solid performance after such a significant shift in the retail landscape. It’s also worth noting that annual 2018 sales are slightly higher than 2016, which experienced mid-single digit growth.”
Sales performance across super-categories in 2018 showed mixed results, with four out of 11 posting growth. Gains were seen in Action Figures and Accessories, followed by Dolls, Youth Electronics, and Arts and Crafts.
Annual 2018 U.S. Toy Industry Performance
|Supercategory||Dollar % Change|
|Action Figures & Accessories||+10 percent|
|Youth Electronics||+3 percent|
|Arts & Crafts||+3 percent|
|Outdoor & Sports Toys||-4 percent|
|Building Sets||-5 percent|
|Infant/Toddler/Preschool Toys||-5 percent|
|All Other Toys||-6 percent|
Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service, Annual 2018 vs. 2017
In order of absolute dollar growth, Dolls had the strongest growth thanks in large part to L.O.L. Surprise!, Barbie, and Hatchimals. Action Figures followed, with sales from Jurassic World, Marvel Universe, and Beyblade driving most of the growth. Cool Maker, Cra-Z-Art, and Kinetic helped the gains in Arts and Crafts, while Fingerlings, Kidi, and L.O.L. Surprise! helped the Youth Electronics supercategory experience growth.
Top properties for the year based on total dollar sales included L.O.L. Surprise!, Barbie, Nerf, Marvel Universe, and Hot Wheels.
Top Selling Traditional Toy Items in 2018, Ranked on Dollars
|1||L.O.L. Surprise! Doll Assortment||MGA Entertainment|
|2||L.O.L. Surprise! Series Eye Spy Tots Under Wraps Blind Pack Assortment||MGA Entertainment|
|3||L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Bigger Surprise||MGA Entertainment|
|4||L.O.L. Surprise! Pets Blind Pack Assortment||MGA Entertainment|
|5||Hot Wheels Singles 1:64 Assortment||Mattel|
|6||L.O.L. Surprise! Lil Sister Assortment||MGA Entertainment|
|7||L.O.L. Surprise! Pearl Doll Assortment||MGA Entertainment|
|8||L.O.L. Surprise! House With 85 Surprises||MGA Entertainment|
|10||L.O.L. Surprise! Biggie Pets Assortment||MGA Entertainment|
Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking
*Source: The NPD Group/ Retail Tracking Service, U.S. Dollar Sales, January-December 2018
Coinciding with the National Retail Federation calendar which includes an extra 53rd week in 2018, annual dollar sales and trends have been adjusted to account for the extra week.
Data is representative of retailers that participate in The NPD Group's Retail Tracking Service. NPD’s current estimate is that the Retail Tracking Service represents approximately 78 percent of the U.S. retail market for Toys.