Star Wars and Pokemon Lead Toy Industry to $20 Billion Plus 2016

It's the team-up no one expected: Pikachu and Rey, fighting side by side to make the toy industry a booming place. Indeed, the toy industry outpaced retail sales as a whole with a 5% increase from 2015 to 2016, pulling in a total of $20.4 billion in US retail sales, according to the NPD.

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Star Wars led the way for toys with $760 million in total US sales, topping 2015 by around $60 million. Pokémon saw the highest growth year over year, followed by Trolls, Batman v Superman, and Finding Dory all seeing huge growth in their fields thanks to coinciding movies.

The top growing category was Collectibles, driven partially by Star Wars, which accounted for 1.8 billion dollars or 9 percent of the toy industry total. That includes things like blind packs, Funko POP figures, and other high-volume collectibles, which often retail for $10 or less. So people are buying more quantity of lower-priced items, and that's resulting in a net increase.

Outdoor and Sports Toys had a 10% growth year over year, primarily thanks to sports and summer seasonal toys. Games and puzzles grew 18 percent, as they increased sales in both adult and child-aged toys.

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If there's a downside to the year of toy sales, it's in holiday season sales (the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas), where the first three weeks of December saw decreases; that did, however, result in a major increase - 28% - for the week before Christmas. Online growth saw a decrease in volume per sale, as buyers are less likely to make impulse purchases online than they do in a brick-and-mortar store.

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