Already worth $21.5 billion, the U.S. Toy industry continues to show resilience and is forecasting continued growth. A once down-trodden category, the toy industry is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. Highlighted below are just a few of the primary factors:

 

Geoffrey Returns: Toys ‘R’ Us opened a two-story flagship store inside New Jersey’s American Dream megamall in just a few months ago and launched an online store in partnership with Macy’s ahead of the 2021 holiday season. This year Macy’s plan to add more than 400 Toys ‘R’ Us shop-in-shops in its U.S. stores is well underway. The perennial favorite, Toys ‘R’ Us claims that bringing back the in-store experience of “playing with the toys” is one that children, and parents, are excitedly embracing.

 

“Customers are welcomed by Geoffrey the Giraffe before discovering and playing across dedicated sections by age, interest and category – each with interactive experiences, activation centers and iconic elements throughout,” says Stephen Moore, General Business Manager of Toys at Macy’s Inc.

 

Neighborhood Specialty is still key. The National Retail Federation says neither Toys ‘R’ Us nor major retailers like Target and Walmart are solely responsible for strong sales, but specialty retailers have reported an increase of 21 percent over this time last year in the toy and hobby category. Some suggest that stay-at-home mandates triggered by COVID-19, and/or a nationwide trend in homeschooling are possible drivers, but whatever the cause, toys in the S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) categories are increasing in popularity and spurring an uptick in sales as well. Below is a list of the Top 5 Toys of 2022, published in a recent blog by Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Dr. Aimee Ketchum:

 

  1. Brand: Skoolzy - Rainbow Counting Bears
  2. Brand: Skoolzy - Montessori Peg Board Set
  3. Melissa & Doug - Magnetic Human Body Anatomy Set
  4. ALEX Toys – Mind-Blowing Science Kit
  5. Snap Circuits – Electronics Exploration Kit

Blockbuster Movies are Back (and with it, the licensed toys.) According to the NPD Group the return to blockbuster movies in theaters has triggered a spike in licensed toy sales, accounting for 30% of all toy sales across retail stores thus far, making the summer of 2022 the first “Blockbuster Summer’ since 2008. Movies like Jurassic World Dominion, Minions: The Rise of Gru, The Batman, Marvel Universe and Lightyear are among the top performing licenses.

All of this adds up to a strong retail rebound for the toy industry, including the return of the beloved Geoffrey! And with positive industry predictions, the likelihood that Americans will continue finding “joy through toys” is good news for the fast-approaching 2022 holiday season.

 

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