Results: State of the Toy Industry Survey

In order to find out how is the toy industry doing during these very challenging times, we asked you to tell us. 154 of you responded and here is what you had to say:

The industry seems to be faring much better than we would have thought when Covid starting impacting our businesses. Yet, the majority of you report that your business is either up or even with last year.

You were even more positive about how you will end the year with 61% of you telling us that your business will finish the year either up or even with last year.

Though 54% of you predicted the industry would be down this year, 13% actually thought the industry would be up 5% and another 16% believes we will be up 3% or 4%. Interestingly, in comparison to responses to questions 1 and 2, respondents were more optimistic about their own prospects this year than the industry’s.

Respondents were lacking in enthusiasm about the prospects for fashion dolls this year. On 15% thought the category would be up.

Survey respondents were no more optimistic about dolls in general than they were about fashion dolls. What continues to puzzle me is why dolls are not more attractive to families. These are uncertain times and it would appear that a hugging and taking care of a doll would be an effective way for a child to feel more secure.

We know that games have been a hot seller duing the quarentines, and respondents, 87% if them, are fully anticipating a big year for them.

Action Figures like dolls simply are not getting the loving. Only 16% think the category will be up. It seems that the absence of movies is killing the category.

Puzzles, like games, have been having a big year and respondents think the category will finish up strong.

Collectibles have struggled this year and the survey supports the notion that the quarantine has not been good for the category. Still, I am hearing anecdotally that the demand for baseball cards is higher than in recent years so perhaps people are beginning to find their inner collector.

Parents want their families to stay active as much as possible and its showing up in outdoor toy sales. Even though we are heading into the colder months, it appears that respondents think outdoor toys will continue to sell.

This is a category that continues to struggle. A declining birthrate shares some of the blame. Coronavirus has, however, had an additional negative impact. According to the Washington Post, the Brooksings Instituion is estimating that the U.S. will see as much as 500,000 fewer births this year. The cause is job insecurity and an unwillingness to be hospitalized while the Coronavirus epidemic is ongoing.

Only 14% think this category will be up. The Dies Cast category is dominated by inexpensive, metal toy cars. The low price makes them an impulse item. With fewer people going to the store, there are fewer people to be enticed. Blame e-commerce.

Construction toy sales, like puzzles and games, have been reported to have been strong so far this year . I am therefore surprised that only 60% of respondents thought the category would be up.

Respondents were flat in their estimation of this category. Only 23% think R/C will be up this year. Could the cause be that the products are perfect for outdoor play but don’t demand as much activity?

Please let us know what you think of these responses.

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