How Big is the Hobby Industry?

Whether it’s building train and plane models, taking outdoors adventures, learning a new skill, expanding your knowledge, doing something artistic or musical, or engaging in sports, having a hobby serves as an excellent way to maximize your spare time and break away from your daily routine, Not to mention the amazing benefits of hobbies you can enjoy, improving your mental health, relieving stress, providing you a better outlook, and boosting overall well-being.

With such an effect, it’s little wonder that the hobby industry is huge, having also been catering to both kids and adults. In this article, let’s discover more about how big the hobby industry is and some other interesting facts about this sprawling market.


What is a Hobby?

A hobby is generally deemed as a systematic, regular pursuit of an activity usually done for enjoyment during an individual’s free time. Hobbies and hobbyists are categorized into collectors, makers and tinkerers,  games, contests and sports competitors, liberal arts enthusiasts, and activity participants.

Collectors are abundant with toys, dolls, wine, stamps, coins, baseball pins, comic books, trading cards, and vinyl records being the most common collections. Other collections are more weird, such as sugar packets, airsick bags, slinkies, coffee cup lids, back scratchers, and traffic cones.

Makers (building and raising) and tinkerers are also abounding. Hobbies that fall under this include building model trains and planes, scrapbooking, sewing, floral design, woodworking, candle making, raising flora and fauna (plants, fish, and pets), and tinkering antique cars, furniture, and other forms of restoration.

Meanwhile,  games, contests, and sports competitors are hobbyists who engage in activities that entail competition like racing, competitive swimming, or triathlon.

Liberal arts enthusiasts are individuals who are fascinated to obtain knowledge mostly done through extensive reading and research. It can be developing further understanding of culture, literature, history, or philosophy. Some hobbyists even transcend mere reading by traveling to actual locations and documenting experiences through writing and videos.

Lastly, activity participants include hobbies that provide enjoyment without the rules of competition, such as kayaking, fishing, modeling, storytelling, listening to podcasts or music, singing, and playing musical instruments.

Playing Guitar

How Big is the Hobby Industry?

The hobby industry is classified under the toys and hobby market, which encompasses traditional toys and games for kids and adults, consoles, indoor and sports activities, hobby crafts and supplies, accessories, equipment, and various musical instruments. Growth in the industry is fueled by the increasing awareness of the importance of having a work and life balance, as well as the rise in disposable income. Thus, people are also allocating more money for their hobbies.

In 2019, the Toys and Hobby market recorded US$456 billion in global revenue, which is expected to increase nearly US$90 billion in 2023 to $545 billion. Total market revenue is dominated by the toys and games segment, accounting for over half of the overall earnings. This division includes an extensive bevy of items mostly intended for children’s entertainment.

In 2019, it generated US$297 billion and is forecasted to increase by US$60 billion in 2023. The increase in this segment is linked to intense competition in price, the boom of online sales platforms, swift changes in buying public preferences, and the upsurge in the demand for high-quality and eco-friendly toy products.

Hobbies revolving around sports also see continuous growth and participation. with more people becoming conscious about health, fitness, and active lifestyle. Thus, causing an uptrend in the sports equipment sector. In 2019, total revenue amounted to US$126 billion, taking nearly 30% of the Toys and Hobby industry in the same year, with a forecast of a steady 17.46% increase in the next four years.

Meanwhile, the online hobby and craft supplies segment in the United States alone earned US$13.6 billion in revenue in 2019, with crafts, sewing, and arts being among Amazon’s top products categories the following years. On the other hand, the worldwide global musical instrument segment is the smallest segment of the Toys and Hobby industry. It’s largely influenced by varying cultural tastes in music but global revenue for this sector is expected to rise in the following years.

Toy Collection

Competitive Landscape

With such a big industry, there are also many key players that drive the market. This includes Amer Sports, Yamaha Corporation, Amer Sports, Gamestops, and Michaels (USA), Citta’ del Sole (Italy), Toyworld (Australia), and Hamleys (UK).

Hobby stores are also plentiful in the U.S. with options like Internet Hobbies,, Wonderland Model, Horizon Hobby, and RC planet providing quality products to hobbyists. All in all, US toy and hobby stores comprise around 8,500 stores – no surprise that it’s the largest toy market in the United States, while the Asia Pacific is considered to be a rapidly emerging market.

Train Modeling


Yet, it is also good to note that the toys and hobby industry also faces its own challenges, such as the advent of the digital age changing the way people spend their spare time and find entertainment, toys, and hobby stores almost offering nearly the same products coming from mass producers, and the rise of online stores taking brick-and-mortar’s toy and hobby stores market shares.

Other roadblocks to growth include the short life cycle of products, difficulty in setting and predicting trends, and highly-fragmented markets.

Luckily, all these challenges can be quickly dealt with with proper adjustments, like manufacturers’ enhancing toy and hobby supplies development processes to be able to provide more innovative, effective, and trendy products for all hobbyists. Thus, ensuring the progress and expansion prospects for the toys and hobby industry.

Final Words

Indeed, the hobby industry is huge, fringing many other types of hobby anyone can think of from baking, aquascaping, cryptography, finger painting, birdwatching, hobby horsing, longboarding, botany, railway studies, story writing to button collecting. If you have your own hobby and whether you do it in your garage, home office space, or a designated room, continue doing it for all the benefits that it offers and to help the industry sprawl in many more generations.