NPD: Global toy sales dip 2%

An overall decline in 2018 couldn’t halt the growth of L.O.L Surprise, Barbie, Marvel, Star Wars or the emerging Latin America market

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 12.02.2019 | Toys

NPD: Global toy sales dip 2% thumbnail

Global toy sales fell 2 per cent overall in 2018, according to the NPD Group’s latest figures from the 13 major markets it tracks.

The US toy market, the world’s largest, again matched the global average, though the UK, Australia, Spain and France all experienced more dramatic declines. Toy traders in Mexico, Russia and Brazil fared better, all seeing growth. The other markets NPD monitors are Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

A “shrinking retail footprint” most evident in the disappearance of Toys R Us and independent stores from high streets and shopping centres was highlighted as a major contributor to the decline in sales. Other disruptions came from the video game industry, where games like Fortnite are attracting an ever greater share of kids time and pocket money.

Only three of NPD’s super categories saw growth throughout the year, with average declines falling in the mid-single-digits. See the results below :

Frédérique Tutt, Global Toys Industry Analyst at The NPD Group, says that many manufacturers and suppliers “demonstrated their resilience in what could easily be described as a tumultuous market,, with two rising to the top to win NPD’s annual awards for excellence in sales”.

Mattel was named the number one manufacturer, while MGA scooped two NPD awards for its ubiquitous L.O.L Surprise! brand: number one property and number one selling toy.

Unsurprisingly, then, MGA’s L.O.L Surprise was found to be the world’s biggest toy brand in 2018, conquering the charts in almost half the 13 monitored markets, including the UK and US. The unboxing collectable was followed by Barbie, Marvel Universe, Nerf and Star Wars to round out the year’s top five toy properties.

“While it isn’t business as usual for toys, 2019 sounds promising thanks to a wide range of kid-friendly movies, which often helps to drive toys sales, as well as old, favourite toy brands that are either celebrating milestone birthdays or attempting to make a comeback,” adds Frédérique.

Hasbro acquires Entertainment One thumbnail

Hasbro acquires Entertainment One

The toy maker buys Peppa Pig owner eOne in all-cash deal eight times bigger than its Power Rangers acquisition in ...

Lunch bites #3 thumbnail

Lunch bites #3

This week we look at the return of The Matrix, why, oh why, Tom Holland can’t catch a break, and ...

Taylor Swift and Stella McCartney collaborate on Lover collection thumbnail

Taylor Swift and Stella McCartney collaborate on Lover collection

Collaborative fashion line launches to coincide with the popstar’s latest album, kicking off with a NYC pop-up opening this weekend

Press Releases

Moorcroft is Chelsea’s Choice thumbnail

Moorcroft is Chelsea’s Choice

Moorcroft and RHS present the limited-edition vase Chelsea’s Choice, celebrating Chelsea Flower Show 18 Plant of the Year

Henson back catalogue hits Amazon thumbnail

Henson back catalogue hits Amazon

More than 100 days’ of The Jim Henson Company’s content including Fraggle Rock now streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Pingu cooks up creative competition thumbnail

Pingu cooks up creative competition

Readers of lifestyle mag Lettuce Club are tasked with inventing tasty Pingu-themed recipes

Diesel Brothers game rolls out thumbnail

Diesel Brothers game rolls out

The Diesel Brothers: Truck Building Simulator video game is based on the hit Discovery Channel TV series