Global toy sales rise 7% heading into holiday season, NPD Group Reports

Around the world, toys are an essential part of the holiday season, for consumers, retailers, and manufacturers alike. While the season presents a time of eagerness and excitement for gift givers and receivers, it is also a crucial time for the toy industry, accounting for, on average, about half of the industry’s annual sales. With that, it is an encouraging sign when sales are on the plus side heading into the fourth quarter of the year, as they are in 2015, according to global information company The NPD Group. Toy industry sales are up 7% overall (January-September 2015), across the 11 global markets tracked by NPD.

“This year, the hype is not centered on any one toy item or property; there is popularity around a variety of products, which is making 2015 a particularly strong year for the toy industry in markets around the world,” said Frederique Tutt, global toys industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Properties such as Star Wars, Minions, Paw Patrol, and Minecraft, as well as tech-enabled toys with more innovative features, and those with more authentic and traditional play value are all converging to create a robust holiday season for the industry.”

Sales in smaller countries including Mexico and Poland are growing faster than sales in the more developed countries, with Russia showing the fastest growth amongst those NPD tracks globally. Even with the country’s high inflation, Russian consumers are spending more on toys and also buying more of them, with a 7 percent increase in unit sales during the first nine months of the year.

The largest super-category in Russia is Building Sets, which has been growing 50 percent faster than the rest of the toy market. Russia’s toy category performance is different compared to the rest of the world in two distinct ways: Outdoor & Sports market share is less than half of what it represents in the other 10 countries, and Vehicles market share is 90 percent bigger in Russia than in the other nations.

“Despite the international embargo, high inflation, and diminishing disposable income, Russians purchased and received more toys in the first nine months of the year than they did in the same period in 2014. This signals good growth for the market once the economy recovers,” said Tutt.

Top Three Best-Selling Toys, By Country*

United Kingdom
1) LEGO – LEGO Minifigures
2) Flair Preziosi – Shopkins 2 Pack
3) Mookie Toys – Smart Trike 4-in-1 Trike Assortment

United States
1) Mattel – Hot Wheels Car Basic Assortment
2) Mattel – Minecraft Mini Figures Assortment
3) Spin Master – Paw Patrol Basic Vehicle with Puppy Assortment

1) LEGO – LEGO Minifigures
2) Mattel – Hot Wheels Car Basic Assortment
3) LEGO – City Great Vehicles

1) Mattel – Hot Wheels Car Basic Assortment
2) Hasbro – Furby Boom
3) Hasbro – Furby Sunny

1) Mattel – Hot Wheels Car Basic Assortment
2) Mattel – Hot Wheels 5 Cars Giftpack Assortment
3) Mattel – Superman & Batman Articulated Figures

1)  Hasbro – Furby Boom
2)  Mattel – Hot Wheels Car Basic Assortment
3)  Mattel – CARS 2 Single Car Assortment

*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service, January-September 2015
**Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service, February-September 2015