The NPD Group has revealed that the total US toy industry grew 22 per cent in April – and that a major driver of that growth was the outdoor and sports toys supercategory. Contributing 53 per cent of the total growth in the US toy industry during April, sales of outdoor and sports toys surged by $193m. This is a like for like increase of 51 per cent over the same period last year*.
With US families looking for ways to manage social isolation measures and find ways to fill the void of cancelled schools and organised sports, outdoor play is providing popular amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Juli Lennett, NPD’s toys industry advisor, said: “As families across the US continue to grapple with school closures and the cancellation of organised sports, parents and children are turning to their backyards to keep active and busy. Across the country outdoor spaces are taking the place of daycares, schoolyards, and sports fields. As the warmer weather takes hold, these spaces are becoming increasingly important for families who are looking to take refuge outdoors while still adhering to widespread social isolation measures.”
Growth in the outdoor and sports toys supercategory was driven by a number of categories that experienced strong dollar gains during April, including playground equipment (+81 per cent), skate/sateboards/scooters (+107 per cent), ride-ons (+78 per cent), water/sand toys and accessories (+47 per cent), pools (+161 per cent), and sports activities and games (+25 per cent).
“With summer quickly approaching and many parents expecting to continue working from home, keeping children busy will become even more of a priority,” said Lennett. “Parents will be looking for more solutions to keep their kids active and engaged during the summer months, which will undoubtedly bode well for the toy industry overall.”
*Source: The NPD Group/ Retail Tracking Service/ Dollar Sales/ April 2020