All of you 90s kids have ‘Walking Contradiction’ by Green Day stuck in your head now.
In a new (and a little odd) article by the website Gifts and Decorative Accessories comes a toy industry report that’s a little out of left field.
And full of what seems to be contradictions.
A few weeks back, we at Toy Wizards wrote about the 2018 toy industry stats from CNBC, which even then, we stated were oddly reported. That article claimed that overall toy sales are down. However, it did admit that action figures, dolls, youth electronics, and arts & crafts were on the rise.
As you can see from the image, it claimed that games/puzzles were down (albeit by 1%) and outdoor toy sales were down by 4%. The rest follows suit.
But now, according to the new article from Gifts, courtesy of ‘data’ from the NPD group, it flips the script and reports completely opposite statistics from the ones CNBC made claims of just a few weeks ago.
So, we have to ask now, what has gone on from the end of 2018-the end of 2018? Well, obviously nothing– past statistics are what they are. These images don’t represent growth (which would make sense if we were reporting 2019) because as we creep into the warmer months (sort of), outdoor toys might presumably become more popular. But as it stands, this Gift article reports outdoor toys up a whopping 25%, while around the same time, CNBC reported they were down by 4%.
Dare we hypothesize what is going on?
When we brought up this discussion in an episode of Toy News Live, Toy Wizard’s official weekly live-streaming toy news show on our Facebook page (7pm PST every Friday!), one of our readers/viewers had an excellent point. That person stated that by toy companies claiming poverty, it scares the general populous into going out and buying said toy because the last thing anyone wants is the toy industry to collapse. We as people, as a nostalgic culture, love toys and the good feelings they give us. Therefore, when there’s an outcry, regardless of whether or not the statistics are true, there will be a burst in purchasing.
On the flip side, if an article like the one from Gift comes out and claims that a certain aspect of the toy industry is thriving (where another source claimed it was failing), is that enough to get consumers to go out and buy more of the item? Is it herd mentality where when we hear that NERF blasters are the best thing ever and they get your kids playing outside, then we all go out and buy the NERF blaster because we want our kid to join in that outdoor utopia as well?
Clearly, it’s very layered and complicated.
But we know this much– the financial and logistical side of the toy industry is in a funny place. Still reeling from Toys R Us, but not completely dependent on its possible resurrection as TRU Kids (which still has no US stores slated to open yet), toy manufacturers are blazing their own trail with Target deals, Walmart exclusives, and Hasbro Pulse online stores.
We will continue to monitor and report on this side of the toy industry as new reports float to the surface.