Pop toys serious biz in hot China market

China Renaissance, a financial institution, predicts that by 2024 sales of China's pop toy market are expected to reach 76.4 billion yuan.


A father and his daughter pose for a picture with a Mighty Jaxx life-sized pop toy during Singapore Comic Con, a comic convention, in December in Singapore. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

December 29, 2022

BEIJING – Mighty Jaxx, a Singapore-based high-end toy brand, which mainly features street art styles and targets a niche market, plans to open its first Chinese brick-and-mortar store in Shanghai in the second half of 2023 to further expand its footprint in the country.

Fueled by a hot pop toy market, the company entered the China market in 2018 and has mainly cooperated with offline stores such as Top Toy and QQ Family, besides selling its products through vending machines. In addition, it sells products on e-commerce platforms such as Douyin and Tmall.

Mighty Jaxx said its sales performance in China in 2022 has been similar to that in 2021. Its sales revenue during the recent Nov 11 shopping festival doubled that of the June 18 shopping promotional event online, and most of its customers came from major cities.

“Currently, the China market accounts for 30 percent of our business volume, and China serves as one of the most important sources of revenue for the company. Our other major markets include the United States and Southeast Asian countries,” said Jackson Aw, founder and CEO of Mighty Jaxx.

Mighty Jaxx said it would choose products that fit with the China market from its in-house product portfolio, with 20 percent of localized products tailored for China. After consumers buy the toys, they can display them through mini programs or apps.

The company said it would like to differentiate itself from other brands by offering consumers the extended experience of communicating with other fans or certain figures associated with the products. For example, consumers have a chance to talk to F1 drivers if they purchase related toys.

“In 2023, our development focus is to accumulate more traffic in private domains, such as on WeChat’s mini programs and large-scale group chats. We regard the connection with fans as highly important,” said Green Kuo, brand director of Mighty Jaxx in China.

With a quite competitive market for pop toys in China, COVID-19 has had a certain impact on the business performance of retailers, and some domestic brands have furthered expanded their presence overseas.

Hong Kong-listed toy brand Pop Mart, which mainly sells trendy toys packaged randomly in boxes, opened its first flagship stores in London and Auckland, New Zealand this year. In June, the company opened its first pop-up store in the US. It expects sales revenue netted in overseas markets will account for half of its total top line in the future.

Meanwhile, Beijing-based brand 52Toys started authorizing overseas agents in 2017. So far, it has entered the markets of Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and the US.

In 2021, sales of China’s pop toy market stood at 36.6 billion yuan ($5.3 billion). From 2021 to 2024, the sector’s compound annual growth rate is expected to reach 27.7 percent. However, the market is in its initial development stage in China and remarkable growth opportunities exist in the next few years, according to consultancy Frost& Sullivan.

China Renaissance, a financial institution, also predicts that by 2024, sales of China’s pop toy market are expected to reach 76.4 billion yuan.

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