The global baby toy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.25% from 2020 to 2026, reaching a value of USD 7.63 billion. Europe holds the largest regional market share with 35%, followed closely by North America at 32%. The Asia-Pacific region, particularly China, is forecasted to see the most robust growth, driven by an increase in spending per baby rather than birth rates. In France, despite a declining birthrate and economic pressures, the baby toy market benefits from the stable expenditure of approximately €289 per child annually. Significant trend shifts include an upsurge in e-commerce sales, which accounted for 28% of the French market. Online sales are poised for continuous growth, outpacing brick-and-mortar establishments due to convenience and a wider range of products. There's a notable push for Made in France toys, representing 85% of sales, although this number fell slightly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on specialty retail. Additionally, environmental considerations are prompting an increase in eco-friendly and second-hand toy offerings, whilst tech integration in toys continues to grow. However, there are controversies around labor conditions in toy factories, mainly in China, and the perpetuation of gendered stereotypes in toy marketing.

Dynamics and Constraints in the French Baby Toy Market

In recent years, the French baby toy market has encountered both demographic shifts and economic challenges that significantly impact demand. Birth rates in France, although higher than much of Europe, have been on a gradual decline, dropping from an average of 2 children per woman to about 1.93, indicating a decrease in the potential consumer base. Despite this demographic downturn, the fertility rate has remained among the highest across the European continent, and interestingly, these demographic shifts are countered by higher household purchasing powers.

As parents tend to have children at an older age, their financial stability allows for increased spending on baby toys, seeking value for money for items meant for temporary use. A key feature of the French baby toy market is its pronounced seasonality, with a steep uptick in demand as the end-of-year holidays approach. Data shows a surge in "baby toy" online searches around late November and December, coinciding with the Christmas season, a crucial period for toy sales. In fact, around 55% of annual sales in this sector are made in the last quarter of the year, with December alone accounting for an astounding 34%.

Consumer profiles in this market are diverse. Parents represent less than half of all toy purchases, with grandparents, other family members, and friends making up a significant proportion, especially in the context of traditional gift-giving occasions like births, birthdays, and holidays. This highlights an opportunity for brands to target a wider audience than just parents alone. The French baby toy market also demonstrates resilience and innovation with an estimated annual expenditure per child on toys sitting between approximately €270 and €300.

Despite the economic pressures and a significant dip in revenue experienced in the past, a swift recovery was seen, largely aided by a boom in e-commerce, which constituted nearly 28% of sales. Market preferences in the baby toy segment lean towards traditional and educational playthings, with brands like VTech gaining popularity among consumers, particularly mothers. Safety, quality, and educational potential are prime considerations for buyers when selecting toys for their little ones. In the background, the French baby toy market is also undergoing structural changes.

The landscape of distribution has been evolving with a movement towards consolidation, especially among specialized retailers who find themselves in financial distress. Notable shifts include the rebranding of Toys'R'Us to "PicWicToys" and La Grande Récré’s strategic refocusing under new ownership. Additionally, e-commerce emerges as a strong growth.

Profiling Major Contenders in the Baby Toy Market Landscape

In the vibrant constellation of the baby toy industry, several key players have carved out their spaces, each with distinct offerings and impacts on the market.

  • VTech - This company stands out as a technology-driven global supplier of electronic learning products from infancy through toddler and preschool years. VTech's success lies in its innovative approach to combining educational content with state-of-the-art technology, catering to the developmental needs of young children. Their products often feature interactive components that engage and encourage learning in a playful environment.
  • Mattel - As an iconic brand in the toy industry, Mattel's portfolio includes some of the most beloved and recognizable names in baby toys, such as Fisher-Price. Fisher-Price, a subsidiary of Mattel, is specifically known for a wide array of infant and toddler toys that harmonize fun with developmental learning and are designed to support growth stages from birth onward.
  • Janod - Janod is cherished for its authentic and timeless designs, specializing in wooden toys and games. Their products often evoke a sense of nostalgia, featuring classic aesthetics that charm parents and stimulate the imaginations of little ones. With a commitment to quality and safety, Janod enjoys a loyal following among eco-conscious consumers seeking sustainable options.
  • Djeco - Djeco is renowned for its artistic and creative toys which are not only playful but also stunningly designed. Their product range spans various categories, including puzzles, games, and decorative items for children's rooms, all imbued with a unique artistic flair that sets them apart from market contemporaries.
  • Autour de bébé - This French retailer offers a comprehensive range of products dedicated to babies, including toys. With physical stores and an online presence, they are a go-to destination for parents seeking a variety of childcare products in one place.
  • JouéClub - Offering an extensive collection of toys for all ages, JouéClub is a cooperative of independent French toy retailers that champions both a strong physical store network and an evolving online platform. They are known for their customer service and the ability to provide a personal touch that comes from their local store presence.
  • La Grande Récré - A familiar name in the French market, La Grande Récré operates a chain of toy stores offering a curated selection of products aimed at fostering fun and education. They emphasize the experiential aspect of toy shopping, creating inviting in-store environments that encourage children and parents to engage with the products.
  • King Jouet is another imporatant retailer in France.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Introduction

The market toys for babies (0 to 2 years old) is a segment of the baby products market. The main toys are games  from  construction s, the dolls and thumbnails s, the vehicles or the little toys  music . In the baby products market, the toy segment dominates, ahead of layette and childcare, which are suffering more from the effects of the economic crisis household consumption trade-offs related to the effects of the economic crisis.

The market for baby toys is linked to the rate of birthrate in France and the power  purchasing households. France has the highest birth rate in Europe, which directly benefits the childcare market, but the findings are mixed. The primary reason is of a demographic The fertility rate has fallen below 2 to 1.93 children per woman since 2016. Even if this figure remains one of the highest in Europe, France has thus seen a decline in the number of births in recent years (to more than 10,000 fewer births per year). The crisis is also influencing the purchasing behaviour of young parents, more than ever looking for value for money on products that children will only use for a few months/years. [ Worldbank ]

The baby toy market, however, continues to be supported by an creativity and strong innovations from manufacturers that allow the market to continue to grow each year. The baby toy market is a market mature and diversified This is characterized by strong competition between specialized distributors and supermarkets. This market consists of a multiplicity of actors : children's specialists or from the world of children's fashion or toys, giants defying their competitors thanks to their competitive prices or franchises. Specialists are thus facing increased competition. They are also threatened by the advent of the pure players that are starting to stand out.

In addition, the sale  on  internet is increasingly developing as well as the sale  second-hand of baby toys. Some brands such as Bébé 9 have bet on the web, for example by offering a news magazine that can be consulted online. Other competitors have since emerged, such as Berceau Magique, Allo Bébé and Bébé Surfeur. The Internet has thus become an essential tool in the act of buying or searching for prior information. Some websites such as Kridelio even go so far as to offer the rental of baby articles.

List of charts

  • Market value of infant toys
  • Taille du marché du jouet
  • Répartition du marché du bébé
  • Population et nombre de naissances par an
  • Âge moyen de maternité
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Latest news

Cdiscount, the French champion that must change its business model in the midst of the Casino storm - 17/11/2023
  • Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky and Casinotake over French e-commerce champion
  • In the third quarter, sales volume plunged by 13.5% year-on-year, to 667 million euros, and direct sales (products bought and resold by the site, as opposed to sales by third-party merchants present on its marketplace) by 35%.
  • At the end of the first half-year, Cdiscount posted a net loss of 47 million euros
  • The marketplace hosts third-party merchants, charges a commission of 7% to 15% on each order, and sells logistics services and advertising.
  • Cdiscount relies entirely on its marketplace.
  • The marketplace generates 63% of business volume, compared with 55% a year ago. The aim is to reach 70%. This is the model used by Polish e-tailer Allegro.
  • Cdiscount ranks sixth among the most visited sites.
  • The 1,600 third-party merchants maintain a broad offering of 80 million items.
  • Revenues from subsidiary Octopia, Mirakl's competitor which sells solutions for creating marketplaces, rose by 54%
  • The C-Logistics subsidiary increased its number of external customers by a factor of 6.
Online commerce: French websites threatened by new rivals - 17/11/2023
  • Cdiscount is now in sixth position among the most visited e-commerce sites according to the Médiamétrie barometer.
  • FNAC is in ninth place among the most visited e-commerce sites.
  • E.Leclerc is now in fifth place and Carrefour in eighth.
  • The Chinese sites Shein, Temu and AliExpress enter and approach the Top 10 with ranks of 10th, 11th and 12th respectively.
  • Online sales are up 30% on 2019, according to the Fédération de l'e-commerce et de la vente à distance (Fevad).
  • FNAC Darty's figures show a 1.8% drop in online and in-store sales over the first nine months of the year.
  • Companies like Cdiscount stop loss-making promotional sales
  • ManoMano cuts a quarter of its workforce.
Fnac Darty's takeover of Cdiscount may be dead in the water - 30/10/2023
  • Cdiscount sales down 25% on last year
  • Cdiscount direct sales down 35%
  • Fnac Darty offered to buy Cdiscount for 500 million euros two years ago
LDLCroissance returns to growth - 26/10/2023
  • The LDLC Group saw its sales fall by -17% last year.
  • Group sales came to €266.9M for the six months to the end of September, an increase of 5.1% (and +9.7% for the second quarter alone).
  • Sales growth of 7.4% in the LDLC Group's consumer business, to €178.6 million.
  • L'Armoire de Bébé, the Group's childcare brand, posted a 3.4% increase in half-year sales, to €4.6 million.
Vertbaudet launches its own marketplace - 19/09/2023
  • Vertbaudet is France's leading online retailer of products for children aged 0 to 12.
  • Clothing accounts for 50% of Vertbaudet's sales.
  • Vertbaudet's sales will increase by 30% between 2019 and 2022, to 345 million euros.
  • 85% of Vertbaudet's sales are generated online, the remainder by its network of 71 stores.
  • Vertbaudet generates a third of its sales internationally.
  • The company plans to open online marketplaces in Germany in 2024, followed by Spain and Portugal.
  • Vertbaudet has 1,100 employees.
Ex-vépéciste Vertbaudet has successfully completed its digital transformation - 14/09/2023
  • Vertbaudet achieves 85% of its sales online.
  • The company offers 10,000 product references.
  • Ready-to-wear now accounts for only half of Vertbaudet's sales.
  • The toy segment, launched in 2016, accounts for 15% of the company's sales, with growth of over 15% by 2022.
  • By 2024, Vertbaudet's offer will have doubled thanks to third-party sellers.
  • vertbaudet has 71 stores in France alone, with two more due to open in 2023.
  • Vertbaudet achieved sales of €342 million in 2022, 20% more than in 2019.
  • The apparel market accounts for half of Vertbaudet's business.
  • Vertbaudet is aiming for sales of 500 million euros in five years, thanks to sales generated by its new marketplace and its international expansion.
  • Sales abroad (Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal) already account for a third of Vertbaudet's business.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

King Jouet
Lego France
Playmobil (Horst Brandstätter Group)
Ludendo La Grande Récré
Cdiscount (CNova)
Autour de Bébé
Simba Dickie Group
Bébé 9
Allo bébé

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