Online toy sales outpaced industry sales, jumping 22 percent as Americans became more comfortable shopping for toys online.
Research firm NPD Group said Thursday that sales during the holiday quarter, which ended in December, outperformed the rest of the year, rising 3 percent to $10.2 billion - representing nearly half of total toy sales.
The strongest categories included plush toys, which rose 18 percent, and building sets, which rose 13 percent. Dolls and infant and preschool toys rose 6 percent.
Youth electronics sales fell 22 percent, and action figures fell 15 percent.
The best-selling toy brands included Mattel Inc.'s Barbie, Crayola, Hasbro's Nerf, and movie properties Star Wars and Toy Story.
NPD Toy analyst Anita Frazier said 2011 should be another "solid" year for toys as the economy improves, several movies with strong toy tie ins are launched and new toys come to market.
The results mirror Toys R Us report earlier this month, which said December revenue at its U.S. stores open at least a year rose 2.2 percent. The two largest toy makers - Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc. - report quarterly earnings next week.