Doll, Toy and Game Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 500 Doll, toy and game manufacturers in the US design and produce complete dolls, doll parts, doll clothes, action figures, toys, electronic and nonelectronic games, hobby kits, and children's vehicles (except metal bicycles and tricycles). The majority of toy production and supply chains are in Asia and Mexico. Large firms may own manufacturing facilities abroad, and both large and small firms rely on third-party contract manufacturing in foreign countries.

Seasonal, Uneven Demand

Demand for toys, games, and dolls is highly seasonal and peaks during the winter holiday season and around major theatrical releases for the related products.

Trends and Fads

The toy market is subject to fads and trends based on popular culture, movies, media, fashion, or technology.

Industry size & Structure

The average toy manufacturer operates out of a single location, employs 11-12 workers, and generates about $3 million annually.

    • The toy manufacturing industry consists of about 500 firms that employ about 5,700 workers and generate between $1 billion and $2 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly concentrated; the top 50 companies account for over 80% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms include Mattel and Hasbro. Video game developers and video game system manufacturers are not included in this industry.
    • An estimated 3 billion toy units are sold in the US annually.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Doll, Toy and Game Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    Jul 1, 2024 - Wages Up, Producer Prices Fall
                                    • Producer prices for doll, toy, and game manufacturers declined for the fourth consecutive month year over year, falling 1.5% in April 2024, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While producer prices are lower in 2024, prices are 26% higher than in 2019. Meanwhile, employment was down, and wages were up in the industry. Employment by manufacturers of dolls, toys, games, and other miscellaneous durable goods fell 0.5% in April 2024 year over year. Wages at all other miscellaneous durable goods manufacturers, including doll, toy, and game manufacturers, rose 4.3% in April 2024 compared to a year ago, reaching an average of $23.85 per hour, per the BLS.
                                    • The US toy retail sales declined slightly in the first four months of the year compared to a year ago but remained higher than 2019, according to market research firm Circana. Toy industry dollar sales were down 1% from January 2024 to April 2024, though they performed better than the broader general merchandise category. Toy sales are still 38%, or about $2 billion, over 2019's sales levels. The top-selling toy for the four-month period was Squishmallows plush toys, while trading cards topped the list of the new toys. The top supercategories for dollar growth per Circana were building sets (led by LEGO Icons), explorative toys (led by Miniverse), and vehicles (led by Monster Jam). The adult toy market (buyers aged 18 and older) has been growing since the pandemic, contributing $1.5 billion in sales in the first quarter of 2024, overtaking the 3-to-5-year-old segment to become the most important age group for the toy industry. According to Juli Lennett, VP and toy industry advisor at Circana, "Tailwinds, like the growing adult toy market and spending power of higher income households and grandparents, drive positive trends. However, headwinds like rising household debt, slowing GDP growth, and fluctuating consumer confidence indicate potential challenges.”
                                    • The US doll, toy and game manufacturers industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of -2.5% between 2024 and 2028, according to a forecast from Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc. The expected growth rate is slower than the overall economy's anticipated growth. The report noted that consumer confidence levels are expected to improve in the forecast window, which bodes well for durable manufacturing industries. Additionally, consumer sentiment has seen a degree of improvement following sustained lower levels. Factors that continue to limit consumer spending are higher price levels and interest rates, though both are expected to improve in 2024. Post-pandemic, consumer spending has shown slower gains of 2.5% in 2022 and 2.2% in 2023, supported in part by savings compiled by households from federal pandemic relief programs.
                                    • Several toy brands saw significant growth in 2023-2024, including Hello Kitty (27%), One Piece (18%), Hot Wheels (13%), LEGO (6%), and Barbie (3%), according to a new report by Brand Finance. The Hello Kitty brand, in particular, has benefited from massive exposure and immense popularity in its home market, generating strong sales growth. Brand Finance also released its top 10 list of most valuable toy brands in 2023-2024, with first place LEGO increasing its brand value by 6.5% to $7.9 billion. LEGO has been the most valuable toy brand for ten consecutive years. “Fueled by a year of solid sales growth, the brand has opened 147 new LEGO-branded stores worldwide, bolstered its digital presence, and rolled out innovative new product lines,” per the report. LEGO is followed in value by Bandai Namco, Barbie, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, Nerf, Dragon Ball, Mobile Fighter G-Gundam, Mattel, and Hatchimals.
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