Global toy sales have risen four per cent to reach $18.4 billion in the first half of 2018, according to the latest insight from The NPD Group.
The increase has been witnessed across the 13 international markets tracked by the global information company, in which Mexico grew the fastest, up 15 per cent, followed by Brazil that posted an 11 per cent growth.
The US market has seen a seven per cent growth while Europe posted a on per cent decline as growth in Russia, Germany, Italy and Spain was offset by slight declines in other regions.
Collectables and social media has been cited as leading trends in the growing global market within the first six months of the year. These are expected to accelerate over the course of the remaining year.
“More than entertainment, brands have been an important trend to move the needle for the industry so far this year,” said Frederique Tutt, global toys industry analyst at The NPD Group.
“Some key themes have also emerged or have been increasing in popularity, such as dinosaurs and unicorns on the one hand, and slime or toilet humour on the other.”
LOL Surprise has been highlighted as a trailblazer in the collectables market, ranking as the number one toy property in all 13 countries combined. Globally, sales of collectables increased by 26 per cent and now account for 1 per cent of dollar sales in the total toy industry.
Led by Fingerlings, the youth electronics segment grew by 29 per cent and sales of miscellaneous toys grew by 12 per cent, with major drivers being Soft n Slow Squishies, Major League Baseball cards and Panini Russia 2018 World Cup stickers.
Tying into the ‘kidult trend’ the games segment grew by 12 per cent with Monopoly, UNO and Exploding Kittens among the contributors to its success.
According to NPD, the global toy industry has been growing steadily since 2012, as well as the global spend per child. North America remains the largest region driven by the US, while Asia is the strongest growth prospect, having grown by 21 per cent in the last five years.
The NPD Group now forecasts the global toy market to reach $99 billion by 2022.
“As domestic markets become more and more mature, manufacturers and retailers are looking at new territories to find growth,” said Tutt.