Toronto, ON - January 26, 2017 - The Canadian toy industry posted an increase of +6 per cent in 2016, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Annual sales topped $2-billion as the Canadian market outpaced growth in the U.S. by +1 per cent.
According to Toy Industry Analyst Michelle Liem of The NPD Group, this growth was driven in large part by strong holiday sales. The market grew by +6.8 per cent in Q4 (Oct-Dec) as both Black Friday and Boxing Week performed well. Black Friday sales were up +11 per cent, while Boxing Week sales were up +46 per cent year-over-year.
“After coming off a stellar year in 2015 which was driven in large part by the Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy launch in September, we once again saw the Canadian Toy Industry achieve strong growth in 2016 thanks to a late rally in holiday sales,” said Michelle Liem, Director of the Canadian Toys Division at The NPD Group. “From the Hatichimal craze which captivated both consumers and the media, to more traditional properties like Star Wars, Barbie, and Paw Patrol, the industry proved once again that there is no shortage of demand when it comes to toys.”
What is Driving Growth?
The popularity of a number of major toy properties helped to drive growth in 2016, including Star Wars, which continued its meteoric rise after a blockbuster year in 2015 which saw its sales volume triple. Overall, the top 3 properties for 2016 were Star Wars, Pokémon and Paw Patrol. Other notable properties that experienced strong growth on the year were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (+20 per cent) and Barbie (+11 per cent). Perhaps no surprise, the top selling items in Q4 were Paw Patrol, Shopkins, Pie Face, Lego Friends, Hatchimals and Elmo.
The categories that gained the most incremental sales in 2016 year-over-year were Games and Puzzles (key growth from Pokemon, Pie Face), Infant/Toddler/Preschool (top growth from Paw Patrol and VTech Baby) and Outdoor/Sport Toys (top growth from Nerf and Bunch O Balloons).