Even I, a toy collector, was surprised by what this infographic indicates are Americans’ priorities. And yes, I found a way to tie this to food. See what you think of the numbers and meet me below for further thoughts.


Okay, first of all, I never would’ve thought that America spent more on toys than on movies and music combined. Second, my collection is pretty testosterone heavy and I count on Mattel for their line of DC Comics superhero action figures. Toys directed at girls are well off my radar so I was surprised to see that their Barbie dolls & gear make up over half their sales. I’d certainly never heard of Rapunzel Barbie who made the list of Top 10 Bestselling Toys in several countries.

Boys’ toys didn’t totally get left in the lurch, though. My purchases of Hasbro’s Marvel superhero action figures, along with their lines of Transformers and GI Joe, made up for 1/3 of the sales for the second biggest toy company. Hasbro is also lucky enough to have the Star Wars license, the bestselling boy’s toy license 3 years in a row! People who only know Star Wars from the movie theater should take note: the merchandise goliath that started way back in 1977 is still raking in the dough. But three times more money from toys than the box office? Wow.

Since this site is at least half about food, the serious point to be made is that Americans saved money in 2010 by spending .5% less on food but thought it was okay to spend 2% more on toys. Hey, I’ll go a long way to insure I don’t have to pass up Mattel’s 89th version of Batman, but not at the expense of a healthy (and compassionate) diet. It’s not like there’s anything shocking here, except that 2010 was the low point in the “great recession.” C’mon, it’s not like you can eat that new Darth Vader figure is it? Well, if I had to, at least it’s vegan.

Thanks to Jason over at