A last-minute holiday shopping rush helped lift toy sales 4 percent in 2014, driven by growth in building sets and electronics as well as the mammoth popularity of all things "Frozen," according to market research firm NPD Group.

Toy sales in the U.S. totaled $18.08 billion during the 52 weeks ended Jan. 3, up from $17.46 billion a year earlier, according to Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD, which estimates that it tracks about 80 percent of the domestic retail market for toys.

Though toy shopping got off to a slow start during the holidays, with sales about flat during the traditionally busy shopping weeks around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, toy sales surged 27 percent during Christmas week, perhaps aided by falling gas prices, Juli Lennett, president of the toys division at NPD Group, said in a statement.

Licensed toys, which represented 31 percent of total industry sales, grew 7 percent. "Frozen," which generated $531 million, was the top toy property overall thanks to the 300 different movie-related products it sold across a broad spectrum of categories.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles represented the top-selling single toy item.

More broadly, sales of building sets such as Lego grew 13 percent and youth electronics grew 11 percent, while action figures and the games/puzzles category each grew 9 percent. Infant and preschool toys declined 5 percent.

The growth in toy sales comes after a small decline in 2013. U.S. toy sales were $17.66 billion in 2012 and $17.18 in 2011, NPD said.

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