Circana: U.S. Toy Industry Sales Decline 8 Percent in 2023

Toy Sales in 2023 Grew 26 Percent Compared to 2019

The following article is based on a press release issued by Circana on January 25, 2024.

toysJanuary 25, 2024 | U.S. toy industry sales declined by 8 percent from January through December 2023, compared to the same 12-month period in 2022, according to Circana. However, the industry grew by $5.7 billion in sales since 2019, or 26 percent, driven by average selling price (ASP) growth. Dollar sales grew, on average, by 6 percent year-over-year during the past four years.

In the fourth quarter, specifically, dollar sales decreased by 8 percent compared to last year, according to Circana’s Retail Tracking Service, while unit sales declined at a slightly slower rate of 6 percent and ASP dropped by 2 percent. Declines in consumer spending were attributed to continued inflation, depleted consumer savings, and rising consumer credit card debt, as shoppers focused more on the “must-haves” and cut discretionary spending.

Circana tracks approximately 78 percent of the U.S. toy retail market, capturing point-of-sale data at major retailers (but not specialty, gift, vacation, and other toy sellers).

“While 2023 was a challenging year for the U.S. toy industry, the four-year compound annual growth rate remains positive,” said Juli Lennett, vice president and toy industry advisor at Circana. “Economic challenges have impacted overall consumer behavior, but let’s not overlook the fact that we have seen an influx of new consumers over the past few years. Keeping these consumers interested with new and exciting products is important for driving future growth.”

Three of the 11 supercategories Circana tracks experienced growth in 2023:

  • Building sets had the most significant dollar gain of $220 million and the fastest growth, with LEGO Icons, LEGO Disney Classic, and LEGO Speed Champions dominating growth in the category.
  • Plush had the second-largest dollar gain, up $31 million, with Pokémon, Furby, Harry Potter, Snackles, Sesame Street, and Cookeez Makery as the main drivers of growth.
  • Within vehicles, which grew $6 million, the largest increases came from Hot Wheels, The Fast and The Furious, and Ninja Turtles.

Outdoor and sports toys was the largest supercategory with a 16 percent share of all toy dollars; however, it faced the largest dollar decline. The top toy properties of 2023 included Pokémon, Barbie, Squishmallows, Star Wars, Marvel, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, LEGO Star Wars, Disney Princess, and Melissa & Doug.