The demise of Toys R Us didn’t destroy the toy market

The demise of Toys R Us didn't destroy the toy market
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Mack Male

Toys R Us is no more and many thought that its demise will wreck havoc on the toy market. It turns out that’s not the case at all and toy sales grew.

New data from NPD Group actually shows that toy sales for the first half of 2018 grew by 7%, The Motley Fool reports. Yes, some of the rise came from Toys R Us sales, but that’s not the main reason for the growth.

NPD Group says that it’s mostly due to the strong toy industry growth as a whole. This year is rebounding after the a bit lackluster 2017.

“It is likely that the Toys R Us news has kept toys top-of-mind for parents and grandparents when shopping for kids in general, benefiting both consumers and the industry,” NPD Group Senior Vice President Juli Lennett said in a press release. “I am also convinced that the strong toy industry growth so far this year has been at least partially supported by the empathy that people felt toward losing a store like Toy R Us. I think it brought about an emotional response that resulted in parents buying more toys overall.”

NPD says that toys in the range between $5 and $19.99 had the strongest growth. Youth electronics were also a big time performer with 43% growth. The main reasons are the Fingerlings, Tamagotchi and Star Wars toys.

Doll sales also rose by 17%. The best performers here were LOL Surprise, Hatchimals and Barbie. Just those three accounted for two-thirds of all sales in the dolls category.

Action figures also net a hefty 16% raise in sales. Mostly thanks to superhero movies like Black Panther, Avengers Infinity Wars and the latest Jurassic World flick. “From my point of view, the toy retail space has been bustling with activity, and this will continue through the end of 2018,” said Lennett. “Existing toy retailers have announced they will be dedicating more space and will carry more toys this holiday season both in-store and online. We’re also seeing new store formats emerge that are more experiential, and we will have new toy retailers entering the space.”

NPD expects that 2018 will be a good year for toys. There are many companies and retailers which took advantage of Toys R Us’ demise and now offer more toys. So, the toy market will be fine without Toys R Us, say the analysts.