Toy Sales Higher Than Ever, Thanks to Millennial Parents


Over 75 million of the U.S. population are millennials. Of that demographic, 22 million of them are parents, with about 9,000 babies born to them each day.

From the way they choose to share memories of their children (hello, Facebook), to how much they interact with them, even down to the names they choose, millennial parents think and act completely differently than earlier generations. As a result, many industries are having to shift gears in order to better cater to these families.

The toy industry has these parents to thank for a bump in sales over the past year. According to data from The NDP, toy revenues rose 7.5 percent in 2016, outpacing the 6.5 percent lift the industry experienced this time last year. This large boost in sales stems from the outdoor and sports toy category, which accounted for $1.7 billion in sales in June, and is the largest subcategory out of 11 tracked by The NDP.

“I believe some of this explosion in Outdoor & Sports is a result of Millennials seeking a healthier, outdoor lifestyle for their kids, as well as looking for more laugh-out-loud experiences with play, minus the rules and directions,” said Juli Lennett, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Toys Industry at The NPD Group. “I will be interested to see what new toys will help kids create this type of experience during the fall and winter months.”

Research also shows 61 percent of millennial parents believe kids should have more ‘unstructured’ playtime, and we already know what millennials think about staying healthy, so it’s interesting to see how these attitudes seep into every aspect of their lives. As America’s largest consumer demographic, industries of all kinds must strive to keep up with the expectations of millennials, or risk falling behind.

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