TV animations push licensing
It has become evident that value-added licensed toys can greatly impact the total market regardless of the external environment. In 2015, the local player Sonokong Co Ltd managed to introduce consecutive hit brands of Hello Carbot and Turning Mecard, which fall under the action figures and accessories category. Young Toys Inc is the other player that has enjoyed similar success with its brands Bayblade, Tobot etc. in previous years. The direction of the top two local players in South Korea will continue to be focused on developing new character toys that are based on TV animations and widely supported by younger children.
The popular animation character toys are mostly consumed by young children (under six years of age). It is difficult to observe such popular licenses for ages above this group. According to the latest press release from Toys R Us, in its newly-opened kidult zone within the Toys R Us online store, the company analysed that the LEGO was particularly successful with its licensed version of The Simpsons and Star Wars among its adult consumers.
Adult consumers in South Korea are increasingly taking up an important portion of construction toys’ sales as they want these products for their personal use. As the new terminology of ‘freddy’ suggests, fathers with young children tend to spend more time with their children and toys that interest both the father and child might gain additional share.
Analysts forecast that action figures and accessories and construction toys will continue to be the major categories for traditional toys and games and they will sustain their healthy growth. Action figures is largely made up of licensed character toys and new brands will be developed competitively by the leading players. Construction toys are loved by children and adults alike and have strong potential for further growth.
The toys targeted at boys and adults will be strong performers for the next few years. The popular TV animation series are mostly targeted at young boys and the relevant character toys are also purchased for boys. However, the recent popularity of such toys is also applied to girls and the industry sees less separation between boys’ and girls’ toys for action figures and accessories.
This is an extract from Euromonitor International’s Toys and Games in South Korea report. Find the complete report with current market research results here.
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