New data from the NPD Group shows that overall the global toy industry in the 13 biggest markets nets a 4% increase in sales for the first quarter of the year. Among the big jumpers were the US with 7.6%, Australia with 11%, Germany with 8% and Russia with 6%. The UK and Mexico net a more modes increase with 2% and 1% respectively.
These big increases are enough to offset the decline in other markets. The reason for the decline is that many countries closed non-essential shops and malls. And since many toy stores are in these categories, the markets with not big enough popularity of online shopping, experienced declines.
“The earlier date for Easter in 2020 had a small impact on the results, but the majority of the sales gains were the result of the stay at home orders across the globe,” says Frédérique Tutt, global toy industry analyst at The NPD Group to The ToyBook.. “The nature of the local retail environment was also a factor. In many countries, non-essential stores were ordered to shut down, which resulted in sales shifting online to the benefit of some retailers able to provide a delivery service or curbside pick-up at the store location.”
The most popular categories were games, puzzles, arts & crafts, building sets and vehicles. Outdoor & sports toys and goods also net a jump, mostly thanks to those who live in houses and have yards to play in.
As for popular properties, there are no surprises there. The leaders are Frozen, Star Wars, Toy Story, Pokemon, LEGO Star Wars. So, mostly Disney’s stuff.
There’s also a warning that the real challenge for the toy industry will be during the second quarter. It’s when the store closures and lay-offs will really start to reflect on the economy.