According to the German Association of the Toy Industry (DVSI), Christmas business was weaker than expected for the toy industry. Nevertheless, 2021 was not a bad year for the industry: in the end, there was a plus, but that was significantly smaller than in the previous year. 

"The German toy market is staying on track," is the summary of the German Association of the Toy Industry with a view to 2021. Even a lockdown that lasted well into spring last year, the lack of raw materials and preliminary products, ongoing supply chain and Logistics problems, rising energy prices and an overall unstable overall economy between Flensburg and Konstanz could not bring the German toy market to its knees. According to the association, he was “unimpressed by national and global challenges”.

Toy market 2021: winners and losers

After an extremely strong year in 2020 with an increase of eleven percent, the market grew again in 2021 - but by only four percent. This emerges from the trade panel of the NPD Group Germany.

"It is currently still too early for a final assessment of how the manufacturers organized in the DVSI have fared," says DVSI Managing Director Ulrich Brobeil, "but in view of the first economic data that we have, there is reason to hope that there are quite a few Members have been able to increase their sales.” According to the DVSI index from November 2021, the manufacturers organized in the association expected an increase in sales above the industry average, which was estimated at four to five percent across all sales channels.

The big winners in 2021 again included Building Sets, Games & Puzzles and the Infant/Toddler/Preschool segment, but licensed toys are also benefiting from the new desire to play. Together, the three segments account for over 60 percent of industry growth. According to initial calculations, licensed toys account for 23 percent of the total market. The shift within the sales channels is not surprising. In particular, the internet and non-industry touchpoints benefited from the lockdown during the pandemic, while specialist retailers had to accept a drop in sales.

The so-called "Toys Generalists & Specialists" lost a few feathers with a minus of four percent, while the consumer markets were able to close at the previous year's level. Last but not least, the growth was achieved by the “Other” sales channel with an increase of eleven percent.

With an increase in sales of four percent in the past year, the German toy market is approaching the four billion euro mark. For comparison: in 2010 sales were still 2,6 billion euros, in 2020 3,7 billion. This corresponds to an increase of around 46 percent in the last 12 years - no other industry is likely to be as resistant to crises as toys. "Even if toys are beneficiaries of the pandemic as a sensible employment opportunity," says Ulrich Brobeil, "the good development of the industry is not solely due to Corona. The importance of toys and games as well as the good program work of the manufacturers have made a significant contribution to the good development."

The industry still had to swallow one drop of bitterness: The high expectations of the Christmas business, which the DVSI index reflected, were not fulfilled to the extent hoped. "One can only speculate about the reasons," says Ulrich Brobeil, "but the galloping rate of inflation may have played its part."

An end to the price development is currently not in sight, as energy prices are likely to continue to put pressure on the markets. For the current year, the DVSI members expect sales at the level of 2021 or a “slight increase”.


Last updated on 5.10.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API