Collectibles helping toy sales soar

NEW YORK – Toys are staging a comeback. The U.S. toy industry is expected to have its strongest year in at least a decade after several years of kids choosing video games and mobile apps over Barbie and stuffed bears. Annual toy sales are projected to rise 6.2 percent to $19.9 billion in 2015, according to The NPD Group Inc., a market research firm that tracks about 80 percent of the U.S. toy market. That’s up from a 4 percent increase last year, and the biggest increase in at least 10 years since the group has tracked toys using its current system. The growth is fueled by the popularity of collectibles, toys based on Hollywood blockbuster films and better technology that allows toys to do things such as talking back…

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