2020 is a big year for online toy merchants. Digital Commerce 360 estimates it is the fastest-growing category online this year, with U.S. merchants of toys and hobby products projected to grow ecommerce sales 195% in 2020. That’s up from a Digital Commerce 360-estimated 10.9% growth last year.

Toys, games, puzzles and crafts were all hot items when the coronavirus pandemic widely spread in the U.S. in March, and many states and municipalities enacted stay-at-home orders. Consumers flocked online to purchase these in-demand products to keep their children—and themselves—entertained while many places, such as museums, libraries, stores and schools, were closed for a period of time.

In April, online toys sales were up 175% year over year and were still up 180% year over year in May, according to Rakuten Rewards, which collected toy sales data from 3,500 merchants that sell via the affiliate site Rakuten.com. Growth was more tempered from June to September, averaging 54%-85% higher than last year, and online sales in October increased 85% year over year, according to Rakuten.

Two toy-focused merchants—FatBrainToys LLC (No. 780 in the 2020 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000) and Exploding Kittens—anticipate that strong growth will continue during the holiday season.

“Historically, about 60% of our business is the November-December time frame,” says Mark Carson, president and co-founder at Fat Brain Toys.

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