USA Toy Business Bounces Back From TRU Saga – NPD Group Reports Sales Rise!


NPD Group have reported a surprising 13% rise in toy sales in the USA for the first 14 weeks of 2018.

(you can view the official NPD press release here:

Despite the dark clouds circling around long term toy industry stalwart Toys R Us, consumers have spent more money on buying toys during the most turbulent period in living memory in the toy business.

There are some caveats – some of the sales growth has come from price discounted/liquidated stock in Toys R Us, which as reported elsewhere, is stock which is unlikely to be fully paid for to the detriment of toy companies sadly. Another mitigating factor is a comparatively early Easter versus the year before, meaning that the anniversary looks favourable to 2018.

Nevertheless, all those naysayers and harbingers of doom who have been harping on about kids not wanting or playing with toys any more have repeatedly missed the fact that demand for toys has never been stronger. This new evidence clearly shows that consumers still love to buy toys, thus proving as I have argued elsewhere that the medium to long term outlook for the global toy industry is actually very rosy!

Even short term, the good news is that inventory is clearly moving. OK, nobody wants a large quantity of discounted stock affecting normal trading, but most toy companies would accept the lesser evil of consumers snapping up Easter bargains versus stock not moving and badly affecting market pricing in the all critical Q4 period of 2018.

Perhaps we can expect a somewhat tougher Q2 as Easter is gone & Toys R Us stores begin to cease trading, but even if so, we look like we’re heading to a marketplace that is more healthy than expected towards the back end of 2018.


by Steve Reece, CEO of Kids Brand Insight,  a leading toy expert consultancy to toy companies around the world. Services include Sourcing/factory finding especially in India & other ‘new’ manufacturing economies, toy business consultancy and product representation.