Global toy market is down, but shows signs of improvement

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Global toy market is down, but shows signs of improvementThe global toy market is down across the markets tracked by the NPD Group. But the good news is that it’s showing signs of improvement.

NPD says that the global toy market saw 3% decrease in 2019 in the 13 markets it tracks. Sales actually increased in Russia, Germany, Brazil and LATAM.

Sadly, sales in the US and Europe were down, dragging the market lower. It was especially grim during the first half of 2019 – the sales were down 6%. The main reason was that in 2018 the closure of Toys R Us brought big sales. During the second half of 2019 the market improved a bit. It was down only 1%.

The top selling toys continue to be action figures and games/puzzles. Building sets and dolls also outperformed the market. Sadly, it seems stuffed animals and plush toys in general had a bit of an off year. They haven’t made any significant strides in the market in 2019.

The most popular toy properties in 2019 were LOL Surprise, followed by Barbie, Marvel, Hot Wheels and Nerf. Franchises like Frozen, Toy Story, Pokemon and video games and LEGO also helped the market.

“The industry is preparing itself for 2020. In the U.S., we are pleased that the threat around tariffs for toys is no longer a concern, but we are now facing a potential industrial crisis with the coronavirus, which is having an impact on manufacturing in China. We hope the situation will improve very soon and we can get back to business as usual”, said Frédérique Tutt, global toys industry analyst at The NPD Group.