- Posted July 10, 2014 by
Toys Make Even The Toy Makers Happy
Because there’s no such thing as a proper age or gender for who should have toys, the industry is one of the most lucrative enterprises in the world. In the United States, the toy industry is already worth over $21.5 billion and still rising despite our still present recession era. In fact during the peak years of the recession in 2009-2010, the toy industry still grew over 2%. Mattel and Hasbro control over 40% of the toy-making empire, yet that doesn’t rule out the fact that there’s a remarkable growth factor in revenue for the masses of toy makers and distributors everywhere. The United States has such an addiction for toys that even though it harbors less than 4% of the world’s children, it purchases more than 40% of the world’s toys. At $21.5 billion, the United States toy market is 26.8% of the world toy market, which is more than the music ($10.4 billion) and movie industry ($9.5 billion) combined. Even though globally 4 out of 5 toys are manufactured in China, the United States’ toy budget works out to $280 per child, which turns out to be 14 times greater than the $20 per child that the Chinese spend on toys.
The types of toys we love are those that our children can cuddle up with, teach certain skills, and have some sentimental value. Some toys that have been around forever such as Barbie dolls and accessories have accounted for $3.3 billion – more than half of total Mattel’s (the largest toy retailer in the world) total sales. Technology has become such a necessity in our lives that even toddlers can get their hands on their own tablets called a LeapPad. The $129 tablet sold out from Toys “R” us within an hour of its launch. The company, Leapfrog, had a surge that rose up to 80% over the first 3 quarters back in 2011 and is still holding firm numbers today. Of the toy category revenue in the United States as of recent, the top toys were infant/preschool toys ($3.8 billion), dolls ($2.7 billion), building sets ($1.99 billion), and plush ($1.89 billion).
Of all the toys, dolls and plush toys are picking up the most ‘speed’ in the industry. Most plush dolls have this sort of quirky look to them that people really take a shine to. Aside from them being cuddly and perhaps the safest toy that one can buy, there’s not much to them and yet they’re seemingly one of the most collected items around. They’re such a hot item that popular franchises like The Simpsons and Star Wars have even turned some of their most iconic characters into little plush versions; You can even get them in plush keychain form.
There have been variations of plush toys that have been around for some time like the Furby doll, My Little Pony, Uglydolls (not just a clever name) and there are up-and-coming ones that are making a name for themselves like Expressaló toys that are neat as little designer toys with unique greeting card messages ranging from “Happy Birthday!” to “I’m sorry.” Then there’s Dooodolls that have ventured from parts of Asia, Europe and now have found a home in the United States with over 24 interesting looking characters, each with their own names that hysterically coordinate with their unique style and looks.
“I’m a collector of all kinds of toys, including plush,” shares Amanda Anderson, a young collector from California. “I like plush toys because they’re not to be taken seriously, just funny shapes and looks. Two of my favorites are Ugly Dog and Cozy Monster from Ugly Dolls, and my all time favorite Chewbacca plush.”
For some people, plush toys are a perfect gift for toddlers as they’re safe and different. One such person found that you can’t go wrong with something strange in a cute way. Harrison McGunty, also from California who came across the popular Dooodolls at a recent toy convention in Anaheim, told us, “The little white Dooodoll that I got for my niece was the perfect gift. It was cute with little wings on the back of it like an angel, beady little eyes, and she loved the feel of it. It works great as a pillow because of its shape too. It’s cute and safe for her.”
They’re strange, ugly, cute, cuddly, and silly. Whatever adjective you use to describe them, there’s no denying that plush dolls are a fun toy for anyone of any age. And as we’ve seen plush dolls among the top selling type of toys in the world, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see newer companies establish themselves with their own crazy looking doll and other big franchise turning their own toys into versions of plush.
In conclusion, the toy industry and market is a booming business and it seems our society in the United States can’t get enough of the joy this industry brings!