I am optimistic about the growth prospects for the global toy industry. For perspective, about 1/3 of the global toy category is in the U.S. While NPD data shows the U.S. total toy category down mid-single digits through May 2012, that trend is not consistent across all categories. Most of the categories in which we play are outperforming the total category growth rate through May 2012. Additionally, Mattel continues to gain share in important categories such as infant/preschool dolls and vehicles during the same time period. NPD data also indicates that Europe, despite its recent economic challenges, remains relatively stable through May 2012, reinforcing our belief that the toy industry holds up well in the tough economic times. Using NPD data, that represents about half of the total toy industry. And our global and market experience, we continue to see overall global toy industry growth due to positive demographic trends and toy spending in emerging and developing markets.
As I've said on several occasions, one of Mattel's greatest assets and points of difference is our diverse portfolio of brands, countries and customers. And for the quarter, we experienced strength across all areas. While still early in the year, we experienced good momentum across many of our core brands: Barbie, Hot Wheels and American Girl, as well as strong growth in our Monster High franchise. And we saw positive momentum across a number of our licensed entertainment brands: Disney Princess, with the new movie Brave; Batman, The Dark Knight Rises; Disney's new Jake and the Never Land Pirates; and WWE.
Let's start with the Barbie brand, which experienced a strong second quarter. According to NPD through May 2012, Barbie continues to gain doll supercategory share, both in the U.S. and the Euro 5. We continue to see strength in Barbie's core fashion lines and this year's spring entertainment, Mermaid Tale 2, which was also a growth driver in the quarter.
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