6 min

The Online Toy Market: Current Status and Future Outlook

After a prosperous period during the pandemic, the toy market witnessed online sales plateauing in 2022. This stability was attributed to low inflation impact on the sector and the habits formed during lockdowns. Amid choices and impulse purchases, the game and toy industry managed to maintain its 2021 levels.

On the agenda:

  • Overview of the Toy Market in France
  • Rise of Kidult Products
  • Emergence of the Second-Hand Market
  • The Future of the Toy Market

Focus on the Toy Market in France

The share of the games and toys category in e-commerce remained stable between 2021 and 2022, at 2.5% of total sales.

2021 was a record-breaking year for the toy sector, with sales surging during lockdowns. In 2022, purchases stabilized due to inflationary pressures, causing online shoppers to be more cautious about their spending. This trend of reduced but more selective consumption extended to games and toys, as well as other product categories.

The biggest uplifts in the toy category in e-commerce

The most significant growth in the toy category in e-commerce occurred in the “hobbies” sub-category, encompassing collectibles, modeling, and model kits, since 2020. While these products have a history of popularity, they gained even more recognition in recent years.

Construction toys also experienced increased sales since 2020, with a growth of 1.6 percentage points over two years.

In summary, the demand for games that require time and patience surged during lockdowns. Projects with a long-term focus, such as model kits, which demand time and investment, gained popularity and became a long-lasting consumer habit due to the pandemic context.

The “dolls and accessories” sub-category, along with small toy cars, saw decreased sales.

Christmas remains the key time of the year for the toy sector

Christmas remains a crucial period for the toy sector, with November to December accounting for 38% of the year’s online sales value in the category. Christmas continues to be a driving force for sales, especially in the games and toys category.


Kidults: The New Target Audience for Games and Toys

A “kidult” refers to adults who purchase toys for themselves, not for their children, and most of them belong to the Generation Y demographic. This term describes both a cultural phenomenon and a target audience for marketers and players in the toy industry.

Sales of games targeting kidults were boosted during the lockdowns.

Lego has taken a lead in this segment. While the brand stopped distinguishing between “toys for girls” and “toys for boys” only in 2021, it has been targeting kidults since 2019. Their website features an “Adults Welcome” section with a different visual identity, offering products distinguished by their assembly experience and level of detail, catering to buyers’ passions such as travel, cinema, cars, arts, and sports.

Lego is the top-selling toy brand in France in terms of sales value, with best-sellers geared towards adults, including the Eiffel Tower, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and the Titanic replica.

Playmobil offers collectible vehicles and licensed film products, such as the Aston Martin from James Bond, making it an ideal choice for collectors and nostalgia enthusiasts.

To find products for “big kids” at JouéClub, simply click on the “Kidult” section in the website menu.


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Toy Market and the Rise of Second-Hand

Major players in the French toy market are closely monitoring the second-hand market.

King Jouet introduced a concept of stores dedicated to second-hand toys called “King’ Okaz.” These physical stores allow customers to exchange old toys for gift vouchers valid in the group’s stores. Following a successful trial period, the brand aims to offer this service on its e-commerce platform.

At JouéClub, dedicated spaces for second-hand products are prominently featured at the front of the store, receiving the same attention as new product displays.

What Lies Ahead for the Toy Market in France?

  • Toy Rental: Toy rental services are beginning to gain acceptance, with Lesjouetsvoyageurs offering a subscription-based system where customers can rent and keep toys for as long as desired.


  • Co-Creation of Multi-Brand Games: Hasbro and Mattel have joined forces to co-create multi-brand games and toys to boost sales, including a Monopoly Barbie, Uno Transformers, and Hot Wheels Transformers vehicles.

Key insights

  • The weight of the game and toy market in global e-commerce remained stable in 2022.
  • Sub-categories like collectibles, construction games, and modeling experienced sales growth.
  • Kidults have become the new target audience for the games and toys category, with Lego leading the way.
  • Established industry players are venturing into the sale of second-hand toys in physical and online stores.
  • Toy rental services and multi-brand game co-creation are emerging trends in the market.


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