company, The NPD Group, U.S. retail sales of toys generated $21.64
billion in 2008 compared to $22.32 billion in 2007*, a decline of 3
percent. With a loss of 5 percent, the fourth quarter of 2008 (Oct. -
Dec.) showed the most significant decline in sales for the year.
Despite slowing sales, particularly during the turbulent economy
that plagued the fourth quarter of 2008, recent research from NPD**
shows spending on toys captured the largest share of total expenditures
on kids ages 0-14 during the five weeks leading up to Christmas.
Apparel & accessories, video game hardware, and video/PC game
software followed toys in terms of dollar sales ranking.
Top properties for the year (based on total dollar sales) included
Barbie, Crayola, Star Wars, Transformers, and Webkinz. Licensed toys
represented 27 percent of total industry sales in 2008, mirroring
2007's 27 percent. Star Wars and Disney Princess topped the list of
2008's best-selling licensed properties.