Last Updated on December 26, 2019 by Danielle
Considering a dozen global toy markets, worldwide sales in 2017 grew 1%, driven by fidget toys, slime, dolls, and collectibles.
According to The NPD Group’s latest report, factoring in a dozen global toy markets from 2017, worldwide toy sales saw a modest uptick of one percent to $20.7 billion. These results were reportedly driven by fidget toys, slime, dolls, and the hot category of collectibles.
Results for the year were tracked for the following twelve countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Russia, and Mexico. The United States toy market, which is the world’s largest market, also experienced a one percent surge. Mexico and Russia were identified as rapid growth markets, with growth of 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Inflation was identified as the major driving force contributing to these countries’ solid toy growth. On the other hand, the United Kingdom, experienced a slump of 3 percent, while Australia plummeted by 2 percent and France declined by 1 percent.
Interestingly, the ‘All Other Toys, Plush, and Dolls’ category was the fastest-growing segment in the United States as well as worldwide. Revenue in 2017 for this toy category soared to 14 percent, with fidget toys and slime kits serving as major catalysts for growth.
The ‘Plush’ category saw growth of 6 percent, driven by the Hatchimals and FurReal Friends. As for the Dolls category, it grew 5 percent primarily because of L.O.L. Surprise! and Hatchimals CollEGGtibles, the new miniature collectibles line from Spin Master.
Not surprisingly, the ‘Collectibles’ market continues to be a strong driver of growth for the toy industry with 14 percent worldwide growth, driven by L.O.L Surprise!, Hatchimals, and LEGO minifigures. Interestingly, sales for this segment ballooned to $3.9 billion, representing roughly 19 percent of the total global sales for the industry.
Meanwhile, the ‘Games and Puzzles’ segment experienced growth of 3 percent in the US as well as worldwide. The first eight months of 2017 contributed to the majority of this growth. In fact, in 2016, this category experienced its fastest growth of 16 percent.
Wondering what were 2017’s best-selling toy properties? Globally, the top three properties were Star Wars, Nerf and Barbie, respectively. Interestingly, in the United States, the top three slightly varied with Nerf on top, followed by Star Wars and then Barbie.
In July, the NPD had reported that worldwide toy industry sales increased by 3 percent for the first half of 2017, and had forecasted global industry growth of 4 percent. Ultimately, global toy industry growth came in well under expectations. The toy industry experienced booming growth of 6.7 percent in 2015, bolstered by explosive Star Wars toys, content-backed properties, and additional shopping days. Similarly, 2016 was another year of solid growth for the industry. However, it seems movie tie-in fatigue may be setting in and the toy industry may have to rely more on innovation to spur solid growth like that again.