11 Oct 2018

Tommy & Merry @ Auction

This graph depicts the total revenue of the U.S. retail sales toys and games market from 2007 to 2017. In 2016, the total market value was 20.74 billion U.S. dollars. The toys and games market consists of total revenues generated through the sale of activity toys, dolls, games and puzzles, infant/toddler/pre-school toys, plush toys, vehicles and other toys.

Toy Industry

Play is a child’s “work” and toys are the tools children use in play. Toys do more than entertain and keep children occupied. If properly chosen, they should aid a child’s physical, mental, social and emotional development. Play is universally accepted as a vital part of learning and growing and, because didactic apparatus/ toys are such an important ingredient of play, they are priceless to a child’s development into a mature, confident adult.

No less today than through the history of civilization, toys reflect the times and cultures and provide children with the tools that help them relate to the world in which they live. Today’s toy manufacturers keep pace with the rapidly changing world and provide young people with correspondingly appropriate playthings for their enjoyment and to challenge their creativity and imagination.

Market growth is being fueled by video, console and computer games, with the industry also benefiting from a growing adult consumer base as this group takes a greater interest in games as a popular leisure pursuit. Industry leaders are focusing their marketing efforts on older children and adults, with small children no longer considered the industry’s main target demographic.

While traditional toys and games are losing some degree of popularity in the face of competition from interactive and intelligent toys, this market segment is expected to record demand in some regions.

Current Scenario

Tough times for the toy industry could turn downright miserable next year if the trade war keeps escalating. The American toy industry is trying to recover from Toys “R” Us going out of business, but toy makers are worried that they could soon be hit with tariffs that will drive up the prices on almost all their products.

About 85% of the toys sold in the United States are made in China, according to the Toy Association, the industry’s trade group. Although those products have escaped the escalating trade war between China and the Trump administration so far, the next round of tariffs is widely expected to include all imports from China that haven’t already been taxed. If that happens, there’s no way toys will escape. Much of the manufacturing that has been brought back to America in recent years has gone into automated plants with high productivity. It’s also a seasonal industry that has to ramp up production closer to the holiday season.

To analysts about moving production away from China, but it’s made clear that would shift to other low-wage countries — not back to the United States. Leading toy manufacturers declined to respond to questions about the threat of tariffs. But when some of the items they sell, including high chairs and cribs, were initially put on earlier tariff lists, they filled comments with US trade officials arguing tariffs would end up costing American jobs. Those arguments worked, and the juvenile products were not included in earlier rounds of tariffs – for now. A number of smaller toy companies could go out of business if tariffs are imposed. Many are struggling to recover from the Toys “R” bankruptcy. In July in the wake of the closure of Toys “R” Us, it announced it would cut 2,200 US jobs in an effort to control costs.

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