Sales on the High Street might have declined from $21.1 billion in 2006 to $20.5 billion in 2007, but new research has shown that more US households actually purchased toys last year than in the previous one.
According to the Toys Market Dynamics Report from NPD, there were 107 million toy-buying households in 2007, up from 105 million in 2006 - a two per cent increase.
The overall decline in sales resulted from a five per cent decrease in the average annual toy spend per buying household. The average amount spent on toys by household in 2007 was $191 compared with an average of $201 in 2006.
"Even though 2007 was a tough year for the US toy industry, it's important to note that over nine out of ten households purchased a toy last year," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst at the NPD Group.
"Few industries are as widely penetrated in the lives of US families as are toys."
The report also looks at the households that purchased toys. Those which only had children aged six and under all purchased a toy during the year, spending over $485 on toys throughout the period.
According to the report, 88 per cent of households with no kids present under the age of 18 still purchased at least one toy last year and spent an average of $113.
"Young kids really are the sweet spot for the toy industry because they're not yet as distracted by other entertainment choices as older kids might be," Frazier continued. "But the fact that households with no kids present are still buying some type of toy shows just how broad the appeal of toys actually is."