Playtime During The Pandemic: Toy Sales Surge

Families hunkered down at home are splurging on games, puzzles and outdoor toys to stay entertained. NBC's Liz McLaughlin reports.

(NBC News) — Despite the downturn of American retail in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, families hunkered down at home have splurged to stay entertained.

The toy industry saw a 22-percent spike in sales in April, driven by demand for family-friendly toys such as craft kits, puzzles and board games.

Hasbro, which saw an overall loss this quarter, said its game sales still surged more than 40 percent.

“We’re seeing it across every category from preschool gaming to kid gaming, adult gaming, family gaming,” says Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner.

Families grappling with canceled sports and summer programs are turning to their backyards to stay active and busy.

Sales of outdoor toys, pools and playground equipment is up 51 percent over the same period last year according to NPD Group.

“We’re seeing here huge growth in these classic categories like skateboards and scooters and backyard fun,” adds Toy Insider senior editor James Zahn.

Though some categories are up, sales of traditional toys, like dolls, are down.

This month Mattel reported a 14 percent drop in sales.

“Without kids accompanying their parents to the store on these trips you eliminate a little bit of what’s always been called like the nag factor,” Zahn says.

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