Jedi warriors, genetically modified dinosaurs and a gang of rescue pups helped the toy industry deliver its most robust growth figures in more than a decade.
According to data released by The NPD Group on Wednesday, U.S. toy sales increased 6.7 percent to $19.4 billion last year, topping the firm's estimate for 6.2 percent growth.
A diverse selection of toys drove gains across 9 of the 11 subcategories tracked by The NPD Group, including games and puzzles, building sets, and action figures and accessories. Only arts and crafts and youth electronics posted declines, of 4.3 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.
"The toy industry had an incredible year and, as is typically the case, there isn't one reason," said Juli Lennett, The NPD Group's U.S. toys industry analyst.
The last time annual toy sales grew faster than 7 percent was in 1999, Lennett said. That was the year that "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" was released. The launch of Pokémon trading card games, strong Furby sales and momentum from Beanie Babies also played into the growth.