Toy sales surge in the US and UK indies ‘rally community spirit’ in time of COVID-19 adversity

Toy sales in the US have seen a surge amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest data from the global sales tracker NPD Group, who has cited a 228 per cent increase in sales of games and puzzles in recent weeks.

A recent report from the firm indicates that sales of toys across the Atlantic for the week ending March 21st, have grown by 26 per cent, the biggest being the games and puzzles sector, of course, that has offered relief to families and children facing periods of isolation.

At the same time, sales within the construction toy sector have grown by 76 per cent, the arts and crafts sector has grown by 70 per cent and sales in the outdoor toys category have risen by 20 per cent.

In conversation with The New York Post, MGA Entertainment CEO, Isaac Larian, said: “Toys that keep kids busy for a long time, or at least 45 minutes, while parents are working at home are what’s soaring.”

Larian has revealed that sales of MGA’s Little Tikes brand had grown by 100 per cent in March compared to last year.

“We have never seen that before,” said Larian.

Meanwhile, Basic Fun has seen similar results, with sales of its Lite-Brite and Lincoln Logs soaring by 800 per cent. 

“It’s crazy to say it, but we had our best first quarter ever this year,” Basic Fun CEO, Jay Foreman told the Post. “Parents are loading up on building, craft, and activity toys.”

The UK has shared scenes similar to those in the US, with reported growth in sales across arts and crafts, board games, and puzzles as families and children made preparations for the elongated period of school closures and social distancing.

Meanwhile, Toymaster MD, Ian Edmunds has sung the praises of the UK’s independent toy retailer scene and its ability to see itself through times of adversity by its community spirit.

“One good thing that our members have got is that they all talk to each other’ share experiences and share ideas, and share what is working,” he told ToyNews.

“I think, it’s early to say now of course, but there are a lot of issues out there that – once this does all go – will all become clearer because of this period, and this will certainly highlight what is really important to us and what is really important in life. 

“I will say that a lot of our Toymaster members are good with dealing with adversity and coming out strong, they have had a number of things thrown at them to deal with over the years, and have always known what to do and how to behave in a crisis before now, and will know how to handle the next crisis after now. They are a resilient and hardy stock.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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