Despite a challenged retail environment, toy sales grew 26% compared to 2019

PARIS, January 30, 2024 Today, Circana released the 2023 toy sales performance figures across the 12 global markets (G12), including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. Across the G12, sales declined by 7% in 2023, versus 2022, but were 17% higher when compared to pre-pandemic 2019, according to Circana’s Retail Tracking Service.

In 2023, the average selling price was up 1%, year over year, and increased by 18%, versus 2019.

In 2023, two of the 11 toys supercategories tracked by Circana experienced a year-on-year sales increase within the G12. Building Sets toys took the top spot in terms of sales growth (+4%), followed by Plush (+3%). Strategic Trading Card Games and Vehicles also posted gains. All four of these sub-segments posted growth for the fourth year in a row.

Licensed toys account for 31.1% of the total toy market, highlighting the continued importance of characters and franchises in driving sales. Pokémon retained its crown as the top-selling toy property globally, followed by familiar classics like Barbie, Star Wars, Marvel Universe and Hot Wheels. Notably, LEGO Icons emerged as the top gaining property, reflecting the trend towards toys targeted at older consumers, the kidults.

“With inflation at the highest level we have seen in decades and birth rates at their lowest in many countries, the global toy industry faced new challenges in 2023,” said Frédérique Tutt, global toys industry advisor at Circana. “Consumers across many regions had to make difficult trade-offs and reduced their spending on toys and games. We saw different regions reacting differently to these economic challenges, with Europe contracting back to 2019 levels while U.S. sales remained 26% higher compared to 2019. As economies continue to improve, the industry should experience some respite in 2024, particularly as the flow of new products and innovations re-introduce the wow factor and encourage engagement. This should help to stabilize sales.”

Press Contact

Marissa Guyduy
Manager, Public Relations
Circana (formerly IRI and NPD)


Nikki Alvey
Eureka Comms
Tel: +44 (0)7973 354 706