U.S. Toy Industry Expects Pokemon Go to Drive Holiday Sales

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Last Updated on December 26, 2019 by Danielle

Plush Pikachu

Pokemon Go expected to drive holiday sales.

After experiencing one of its best Christmas holiday sales seasons in years, the U.S. toy industry is placing its bets on the Pokemon Go phenomenon that has taken the world by storm.

New Pokemon videogames from Nintendo (Pokemon Sun & Moon) are expected to be hot sellers just in time for the holidays. In fact, the Pokemon craze is driving sales of Nintendo 3DS hardware. A plush Pikachu from Tomy with the ability to wiggle its ears is expected to be a top holiday toy. Take a look at the facts – Pokemon Go – made its debut in July 2016 and has been downloaded 500 million times. And it is driving the toys and video games business thanks to this sensation and the momentum is expected to continue through the holiday season.

Last year, the U.S. toy industry experienced an upswing of 6.7%. Sales in the first half of 2016 have grown 7.5% with evergreen properties like Star Wars, Nerf, Shopkins, and Pokemon.

Last year the blockbuster release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” provided a tremendous boost to the industry, driving merchandise sales exceeding $700 million. And with another blockbuster Star Wars movie, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, due by year end that is anticipated to drive toy sales again. The LEGO Star Wars Resistance X-Wing Fighter (75149) is expected to be a big hit with Star Wars fans. Disney’s Frozen property is also expected to help drive sales with a doll from Jakks Pacific.

And it’s not only movie tie-in toys that are expected to do well. Shopkins is popular and is expected to be a hot seller among collectible fans. Speak Out is an interesting game that challenges players to speak with a mouthpiece in their mouth.

Tech toys historically perform well. Some of the anticipated hot toys include a new Air Hogs drone and Hello Barbie Dreamhouse.  Toys ‘R’ Us’s CEO stated there’s a market for these advanced tech toys but manufacturers crossed the line and ended up hurting the industry last year.

Interestingly, this year, the average price of toys has declined, which may equate to greater spending per consumer. These more reasonable price points are expected to appeal to a wider audience of families and drive toy sales for retailers and online e-tailers, such as Amazon.com, Toysrus.com,  Target.com, and Walmart.com, among others.

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