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Local toymaker wins market with innovation

  • Author:Linki
  • Source:https://www.chinadaily.com.cn
  • Release on :2020-01-03
Local toymaker wins market with innovation


During the 2019 Singles Day festival, a shopping occasion created by Tmall, neither Lego or Bandai, the top two toy brands in the world by value, topped the chart in the toy category.

The champion in terms of revenue was Pop Mart, a Beijing-based lifestyle retailer, which in nine seconds sold 55,000 toys in mini blind boxes-small, sealed packages containing collectible toys that are part of a series. It also sold more than 2 million art toys-designer toys normally designed by artists-worth 82.12 million yuan ($11.8 million).

The growth compared with the previous year's event is 295 percent, and it was only the third time Pop Mart had participated in the Singles Day shopping spree. All the other top four toy brands were foreign. According to Tmall, about 80 percent of the art toys sold on Tmall during the 2019 Singles Day were from Pop Mart.

The company said its victory over international leading toymakers did not come from low costs and large quantities, a stereotype of Chinese toymakers.

"We beat them by selling at decent prices and relying on our own brands," said Wang Ning, founder and CEO of Beijing Pop Mart Culture and Creative Co Ltd. "We are not selling copies of popular toys. We won by innovating a completely new toy category."

Compared to the brick toys and robots, Wang's toy empire is founded on art toys, and Pop Mart's toys are targeting mostly at teenage and adult consumers aged between 15 and 35-people they refer to as art toy collectors. The company has 2 million active registered customers.

"The growth in demand for toys from adult consumers is probably bigger than that from children and parents," he said. "And this has immense potential."

Walking into his Beijing office with its views of the central business district, one might mistake it for that of an artist. Filled with displays of collectibles, paintings and sculptures, the center piece is an electronic drum set that Wang occasionally plays.

Wang opened a store in 2008 in his sophomore year at university, renting out small spaces in the store to individual sellers. In 2010, he founded Pop Mart to sell arty designer products including accessories, makeup and digital products.

While the business was largely unsuccessful, Wang discovered one toy, SonnyAngel, was a big hit. In 2015, Wang took a risk and dropped many categories and focused on selling art toys, notably securing the licensing rights for the character Molly by Hong Kong toy designer Kenny Wong, founder of Kennyswork Co Ltd. His risky move proved successful.

Now defined as an integrated intellectual property operation service provider, Pop Mart is engaged in retailing art toys, acting as a broker for artists, developing new media entertainment and organizing large-scale exhibits.

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