Toy Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2022

Toys for Building Scale Models, Toys for Hobbies, and Trading Card Games Continue to Drive Market Growth for FY2021

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a survey on the domestic toy market and found out the current status, the trends by category, the trends of market players, and future perspectives.


FY2021 Toy Market Size by Category (9 Major Categories)
FY2021 Toy Market Size by Category (9 Major Categories)
FY2021 Noteworthy Toy Market Size
FY2021 Noteworthy Toy Market Size

Market Overview

The domestic toy market (9 major categories) for FY2021 attained 715,300 million yen, down 1.5% from the preceding fiscal year (based on the shipment value at manufacturers). Meanwhile, by 8 major categories, i.e., excluding TV games, the market increased to 382,300 million yen, up 12.0% year on year. As the mood for voluntary lockdown fades and become less enthusiastic about improving quality of time spent at home, the jigsaw puzzle market, which had grown significantly in the previous year under the pandemic situation, saw a double-digit decline (down 15.1%). On the other hand, the market of toys for building scale models and for hobbies stayed strong (up 9.7%). The most noteworthy trend is the growth of the trading card game market. The expansion has ballooned the boys’ characters & toys market by 40.1% from the previous fiscal year, expanding the market size of the total of 8 major categories. Meanwhile, the market size of the total of 9 major categories had a decline in FY2021 as a repercussion of the preceding year, where some toys were demanded highly as means to enjoy “home nesting”.

Noteworthy Topics

Rapid Expansion of Capsule Vending Machine Specialty Shops

Dramatic expansion of large-scale capsule toy vending machine shops owned by toy makers or toy wholesalers is seen in the market. Some of them even have more than 1,000 vending machines at a single location. In addition to such large-scale venues, the rise of tenant vacancy rates at commercial facilities during the corona crisis has increased the number of smaller spaces with “gacha machines" (capsule toy vending machines). The business operated mostly without manpower, i.e., the nature of capsule vending machine specialty shops, is not only successful in terms of infection prevention, but is also favorable from sales efficiency perspective, considering its low unit sales prices.

Future Outlook

The domestic toy market as a total of 9 major categories for FY2022 is forecasted to grow by 0.6% from the preceding fiscal year to 719,900 million yen. As a total of 8 major categories (meaning not including TV games), it is projected to rise by 4.6% from the previous fiscal year to 399,900 million yen. Even in the situation where consumers are increasingly inclined to go out more often, the demand for toys for building scale models and for hobbies continue increasing. Furthermore, series of new market entries in the trading card games market is driving the growth of boy’s characters & toys market.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: October to December 2022
2.Research Object: Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of toys, toys for building scale models/toys for hobbies, TV gaming contents manufacturers, etc.
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by our specialized researchers (including online interviews), surveys via telephone/email, and literature research

The Toy Market

The toy market in this research refers to a market of the following major 9 categories:
1) Electronic toys, 2) toys for building scale models/toys for hobbies, 3) boys’ characters & toys, 4) girls’ characters & toys, 5) analogue games, 6) seasonal & miscellaneous toys, 7) basic toys (intellectual training toys, blocks, jigsaw puzzles, etc.,) 8) soft or stuffed toys, and 9) TV games. The market size is calculated based on the domestic shipment value at manufacturers, without that for exports.
“High targeted toys” refer to toys in general that are targeted at adult customers, which includes the major 8 categories (i.e., excluding TV games), figure toys, toys packaged with confectionaries, and capsule toys.

In fact, toys packaged with confectionaries, capsule toys, and figure toys are not included in the major 9 categories.
*Since the market of toys packaged with confectionaries and the market of high targeted toys have been redefined this year, the values in this research partly differ from the past research.

The major 9 categories indicate:
1) Electronic toys: Electronic games, electronic soft toys, PC for kids, smartphone-imitated toys, kinesthetic games (including high targeted toys)
2) Toys for building scale models and for hobbies: Plastic models, radio control models, model guns, and other toys for hobbies (including high targeted toys)
3) Boys’ characters & toys: Toy radio controls, other toys for boys (including trading card games and high-targeted toys), among all the smartphone-imitated toys those featuring some characters are included
4) Girls’ characters & toys: Dress-up dolls, other toys for girls (including high targeted toys,) among all the smartphone-imitated toys those featuring some characters are included
5) Analog games: Board games, analogue games, general games (including high targeted toys)
6) Seasonal toys: Traditional dolls and toys for seasonal event and festivals; fireworks, etc.
7) Basic toys: Intellectual training toys, toys for babies and infants, blocks, jigsaw puzzles, etc. (including high targeted toys)
8) Stuffed toys and dolls: Soft toys or stuffed toys, dolls and others (including high-targeted toys)
9) TV games: TV gaming console, mobile gaming devices, TV gaming software (including some online games)


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