PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 8, 1999--The traditional toy market captured an estimated $1.2 billion dollars in retail sales in the U.S. during the week of Thanksgiving, November 21 through November 27, 1999, according to leading marketing information provider The NPD Group, Inc. During the bellwether period, overall dollar sales for traditional toys were up 8% versus the same time period a year ago. With holiday sales looking robust, on top of healthy gains earlier in 1999, the industry appears poised to record its most significant growth in years.
According to NPD, the top 20 toys garnered $101 million in sales, or 9% of total dollars spent on toys, during Thanksgiving week. Dollar sales for the top 20 best selling toys jumped 15% compared to last year's top 20 sellers. Unit sales for the top 20 grew 19%.
Mattel and Hasbro together captured 90% of the sales volume generated by the top 20 best sellers. Running neck-and-neck, Hasbro captured 46% of those dollar sales, while Mattel captured 44%.
Despite competition from newcomers like Pokemon, old favorites came out ahead in NPD's top 20 ranking based on units. Based on units sold, the period's top performers were Mattel's Hot Wheels Basic Cars and Hot Wheels 5 Car Gift Pack, which also topped last year's best seller list for Thanksgiving week. Confirming the lasting appeal of these and other classic toys, NPD reports that six of the week's top sellers, including Hot Wheels, were introduced before 1990. Only three new 1999 introductions captured top spots in terms of units sold. Not surprisingly, all three were Pokemon -licensed. (Editors, see complete list of top selling toys, by dollars and units, below.)
Licenses continue to be important drivers in the toy industry. In the unit-driven top sellers, nine of the 20 are represented by media licenses, with seven out of the 20 related to November movie releases Pokemon and Toy Story II. Based on dollars, only four items in the top 20 were media-licensed. Surprisingly, the Star Wars license, a big hit in the first half of 1999, had no single items in the top 20 weekly list, based on either dollars or units.
Thanksgiving week typically represents 5% - 6% of annual U.S. traditional toy sales. Traditional toy sales through October are up 9%, one of the healthiest growth periods in many years. Total retail sales in the U.S. for 1998 were $21.0 billion and are expected to increase 7% with sales reaching $22.5 billion by the end of this year. Driving this healthy growth are Pokemon, Furby, Star Wars and increased industry awareness due to significant e-retailer advertising.
About The NPD Group
The NPD Group is an international marketing information company
headquartered in Port Washington, NY. Founded in 1953, the firm
specializes in tracking consumer purchasing and behavior. NPD offers
both custom research capabilities and syndicated databases for more
than 20 industries including apparel, automotive products, consumer
electronics, cosmetics and fragrances, financial services, food,
foodservice, footwear, housewares, information technology, interactive
entertainment, pharmaceuticals, toys, and more. A leader in conducting
research on and about the Internet, NPD is also the developer of the
revolutionary Web audience measurement technology now marketed by
Media Metrix, Inc. NPD has offices and affiliations in 36 countries,
covering North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
NPD's TOP SELLING TRADITIONAL TOYS BASED ON UNITS SOLD NOVEMBER 21 - NOVEMBER 27, 1999 INTRO. RANK ITEM DESCRIPTION MANUFACTURER DATE ARP 1 Hot Wheels Basic Cars Mattel (a) $0.75 2 Hot Wheels 5 Car Gift Pack Mattel Jan 88 $3.19 3 Pokemon Booster Packs Wizards of The Coast Jan 99 $2.96 (Hasbro) 4 Casey Cartwheel Toy Biz Jul 97 $5.92 5 Connect Four Milton Bradley (a) $8.53 (Hasbro) 6 Trouble Milton Bradley (a) $8.07 (Hasbro) 7 See 'N Say Assortment Mattel Aug 90 $6.72 8 Matchbox Vehicle Assortment Mattel Mar 90 $0.91 9 Pokemon Fossil Booster Pack Wizards of The Coast Sep 99 $3.45 (Hasbro) 10 Winnie the Pooh Honey Pot Set Arco (Mattel) Jan 98 $5.04 11 Batman Knight Batmobile Hasbro Dec 98 $7.85 12 Happy Hugs Baby Doll Playmates Toys Jun 98 $5.94 13 Pokemon Battle Pack Assortment Hasbro Nov 98 $5.01 14 Easy Bake Oven/Snack Center Hasbro Nov 92 $12.37 15 Pokemon Super Ball Assortment Hasbro Nov 98 $2.94 16 Toy Story Figure Assortment Mattel Aug 98 $5.96 17 Pokemon Blaster Assortment Hasbro Nov 98 $7.63 18 Operation Milton Bradley (a) $9.06 (Hasbro) 19 Lite Brite Hasbro Feb 87 $9.52 20 Pokemon Keychain Assortment 2 Basic Fun Jul 99 $3.14 (a) Introduced before 1985 Source: NPD TRSTS Toy Marketing Service NPD's TOP SELLING TRADITIONAL TOYS BASED ON DOLLARS SOLD NOVEMBER 21 - NOVEMBER 27, 1999 INTRO. RANK ITEM DESCRIPTION MANUFACTURER DATE ARP 1 Furby Asst. Tiger Electronics Sep 98 $26.67 (Hasbro) 2 Connect Four Milton Bradley (a) $8.53 (Hasbro) 3 Sesame Street Rock N' Roll Tyco Preschool Jun 99 $24.14 Asst. (Mattel) 4 Furby Babies Tiger Electronics Sep 99 $23.73 (Hasbro) 5 Disney Walk 'N Wag Pluto Mattel Jul 99 $22.14 6 Trouble Milton Bradley (a) $8.07 (Hasbro) 7 Casey Cartwheel Toy Biz Jul 97 $5.92 8 Barbie Deluxe Dream House Mattel Jun 98 $74.10 9 Harley Davidson Motorcycle Fisher-Price Sep 99 $179.70 (Mattel) 10 Barbie Cash Register Kid Designs Jul 99 $40.25 11 See 'N Say Assortment Mattel Aug 90 $6.72 12 Easy Bake Oven/Snack Center Hasbro Nov 92 $12.37 13 Kawasaki New Ninja Fisher-Price Jan 99 $167.59 (Mattel) 14 Pokemon I Choose You Hasbro Nov 99 $25.95 15 Skateboard Shannen Mattel Sep 99 $35.76 16 Barbie Baby Krissy Mattel Jul 99 $14.87 17 Bop It Parker-Brothers Aug 97 $14.69 (Hasbro) 18 Hot Wheels 5 Car Gift Pack Mattel Jan 88 $3.19 19 Bop It Extreme Parker-Brothers Jul 99 $22.59 (Hasbro) 20 Batman Knight Batmobile Hasbro Dec 98 $7.85 (a) Introduced before 1985 Source: NPD TRSTS Toy Marketing Service http://www.npd.com
The NPD Group, Inc., New York Helen D'Antoni, 516/625-2496 email@example.com or Mary Ann Porreca, 516/625-2345 firstname.lastname@example.org
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