The U.S. toy and board game industry was robust in 2022, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and geopolitical tensions. According to PIERS, the industry imported 1.26 million TEUs of toys and games from around the world in 2022, a slight decrease of 4.6% from the record-breaking volume of 1.32 million TEUs in 2021. However, this was still the second-highest level of toy imports in history and well above the pre-pandemic average of 1.07 million TEUs.
Unprecedented Toy Industry Growth
The U.S. toy industry sales generated $29.2 billion in 2022. While U.S. toy sales remained relatively flat in 2022, the market has seen substantial growth over the last three years, contributing to a three-year compound annual growth rate of 10 percent.
“Ten percent average growth over the past three years of extreme pandemic-related management challenges and economic headwinds for both manufacturers and retailers demonstrates the resilience of the U.S. toy industry,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “Even if up against a strong 2021 that saw 14 percent growth on top of 2020s 17 percent increase, The Toy Association and our diverse members are all about growth and not satisfied beating estimates of a 2022 decline by simply being flat.”
Toy Imports from China
China remained the dominant source of toy imports for the U.S. market, accounting for over 80% of the total volume in 2022. However, some U.S. importers have been looking for alternative sources of toys and games due to the pandemic and strained trade relations with Beijing.
According to PIERS, some of the emerging sources of toy imports for the U.S. market in 2022 were Vietnam, India, Mexico, and Indonesia. Vietnam saw a 28.7% increase in toy exports to the U.S. in 2022, reaching a volume of 113,000 TEUs and a market share of 9%. Furthermore, India saw a 25.4% increase in toy exports to the U.S. in 2022, reaching a volume of 36,000 TEUs and a market share of 2.9%. Mexico saw a 23.8% increase in toy exports to the U.S. in 2022, reaching a volume of 35,000 TEUs and a market share of 2.8%. Indonesia saw a 21.7% increase in toy exports to the U.S. in 2022, reaching a volume of 28,000 TEUs and a market share of 2.2%.
Looking ahead to 2023, the outlook for toy imports to the U.S. is optimistic as the economy recovers from the pandemic and consumer spending increases. PIERS projects that toy imports will grow by 5% in 2023, reaching a new record high of 1.32 million TEUs.
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