Toronto, ON – June 29, 2017 - The Canadian toy industry posted an increase of +3.1 per cent in dollar sales over the first five months of 2017, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Unit sales were up +5.8 per cent over the same period while the average retail price in the Canadian toy market was down -2.6 per cent. Furthermore, the week of Easter, which is considered a key buying period for the toy industry, saw an increase of +2 per cent year-over-year in Canada.
What is driving down average retail prices?
Average retail prices in the Canadian toy market were down over the first five months of 2017 as we saw an increase in the popularity of smaller, lower priced items such as Stikbot, which was the #1 gaining property in action figures during that period and has a lower price point than traditional action figures. Other examples include Funko Pop Collectibles, where average prices decreased by -5 per cent due to an expansion into smaller, less expensive items. Lastly, the success of Batman Lego Minifigures helped boast dollar sales but led to a decrease in average retail prices.
What categories are driving growth?
Plush was the fastest growing category at +32 per cent based on the success of Hatchimals followed by Games & Puzzles at +22 per cent (driven in large part by Pokémon and Speak Out) and All Other Toys at +21 per cent (driven by Fidget Spinners).
Not surprisingly, Pokémon was the top selling property during the period after growing 1.6x year-over-year followed by Star Wars in second spot. Other key properties included Batman, which gained the most incremental dollars sales YTD May ’17 vs. YTD May ’16. The top 10 growth properties grew a combined $43M YTD May ’17.
“After coming off a strong year in 2016 the Canadian Toy Industry has once again proved its resilience while continuing to post record growth in the early part of 2017,” said Michelle Liem, Director of the Canadian Toys Division at The NPD Group. “Consumer demand continues to grow for both traditional properties like Star Wars, Pokémon, Barbie and Paw Patrol, as well as for new properties such as Hatchimals, Trolls and Stikbot.”