NPD data for 2015, toy sales are up

Earlier this year, I blogged about the revenue growth at Outset.  My exact words were, “we know that the market for board games and puzzles didn’t grow by 30%”.  While that statement is true - thanks to the NPD Group we now know exactly how the industry performed in 2015.

According to data published by the NPD Group, toy sales in the United States jumped 6.7% last year.  Globally, toy sales were up 7%, with Russia experiencing the largest growth.  Russia’s currency devaluation didn’t dissuade parents from buying toys for their kids - which is a positive sign for our domestic toy industry, as the CDN$ continues to weaken.

The NPD Group has been tracking the toy industry since 1984.  It currently monitors sales in 11 global markets - Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the United States.

The NPD Group monitors 11 categories within the toy industry.  I am extremely happy to report that the leading category was Games/Puzzles, which increased 10.8%.  Second for growth was Vehicles, which increased by 9.7%, followed by Building Sets, which increased by 9.4%.  Only two categories saw declines, with Arts & Crafts dropping 4.5%, and Youth Electronics dropping 4.9%.

Historically, one single license can greatly impact the entire toy category (like Frozen did in 2014).  What I find interesting, is this year there were many successful licenses (Star Wars, Avengers, Minions, Jurassic Park, Minecraft, Shopkins, Paw Patrol, to name a few).  How much did these licenses contribute to the 10.8% growth in the Games/Puzzles category?  Or is there a greater trend towards traditional non-licensed games and puzzles?  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.