The U.S. toy industry’s dollar sales rose 17% or $ 2.3 billion between January and September 2021, according to the NPD Group. Unit sales and the average selling price increased during the period, up 12% and 4% respectively. Third quarter 2021 dollar sales increased 11%.
The main drivers of growth in the third quarter included the child tax credit, fewer promotions, price increases, new toy buyers, higher income households and the continuation of pandemic lifestyles.
Nine of the 11 supercategories tracked by NPD grew in the third quarter of 2021. Three of the 11 supercategories grew above 20%, and plush grew the fastest at 39%. Compared to 2019, 10 of the 11 supercategories posted a positive two-year CAGR.
“While the third quarter of 2021 showed double-digit growth over last year, we saw a slight decline in dollar sales quarter-over-quarter compared to the first and second quarters of 2021, in 6% decline on average, ”said Juli Lennett, US toy industry adviser. . “It could be a consequence of delays in the supply chain.”
The top ten properties in Q3 2021 were Barbie, Pokémon, Star Wars, LOL Surprise !, Fisher-Price, Marvel Universe, Hot Wheels, LEGO Star Wars, Nerf, and Paw Patrol. Those top 10 handsets grew 17 percent, while the rest of the market grew 9 percent.
Exploratory and other toys saw the biggest dollar gain in the third quarter of 2021, thanks to gains from the NFL, 5 Surprise and the NBA. Construction packages grew 24%, outpacing market growth. LEGO Star Wars saw the strongest growth, followed by LEGO Creator Expert and Marvel Universe. Plush grew the fastest of all the supercategories, up 39%. Squishmallows dominated growth, followed by Cocomelon and Care Bears. Games / puzzles grew 13 percent above the 14 percent growth last year. Pokémon led the growth in the category, followed by Magic: The Gathering and What Do You Meme.
“As the pandemic lifestyle continues to fuel the toy industry, adults remain engaged in collecting and playing with toys,” Lenett said. “I expect some of these adult consumers to continue with this behavior after the pandemic as well.”