Taking Inventory of the Toy Market

Consumers bought 4 percent more toys in fourth-quarter 2009 than in the same period of 2008, says a report from The NPD Group, though revenues were flat. The research firm says “heavy promotional activity at retail” enabled this gap between unit sales and retail revenues.

For the whole year, the categories rising significantly in revenues were “building sets” (up 23 percent) and “arts & crafts” (up 7 percent). Suffering the steepest declines: “youth electronics” (down 17 percent) and “plush” (down 13 percent). Sales of toys priced at $5-10 gained in share of overall sales, while toys priced under $5 lost share.