BEIJING, Jan. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Recently, 52TOYS just completed the largest financing in the industry this year, with an amount of RMB 400 million. Subsequently, news saying that “52TOYS plans to open 100 stores by the end of next year”, “to be the number one brand of collectible toys in China“, and “to go public within two years”, followed one after another.
For toys and 52TOYS, CEO Chen Wei has his own plans.
“Every business has its own DNA. We have fun with toys, and want to dig deep into this endeavor,” Chen Wei told All Weather TMT.
Below are the quick answers from Chen Wei:
All Weather TMT: Under what conditions did you establish 52TOYS?
Chen Wei: Huang Jin, the creator of Killers of the Three Kingdoms, and I founded 52TOYS as early as 2015, and we were determined about the company’s position in the market. 52TOYS should be a product brand, which possesses its own creative ideas, product lines, product portfolios, and products that are intriguing and competitive. This is our core competence and our primary target.
All Weather TMT: The reputation of your intellectual property (IP) products such as LuLu the Piggy and Crayon Shin-chan precedes the company 52TOYS. Why? I suppose many consumers barely know about 52TOYS.
Chen Wei: It’s actually a result of multiple causes.
Consumers may have to buy the products produced by a single brand multiple times, before they can gradually keep that brand in mind. This is the so-called consumer mind, and it takes a course to go through.
Then, it’s important to create your own IPs. For example, when we sell Doraemon toys, it’s the name Doraemon itself that is remembered, instead of 52TOYS. However, when seeing our BEASTBOX and “MODERN ANCIENT” series, which will be released later on, one will immediately relate them to 52TOYS.
In addition, the most important thing is to build channels for direct sales, which is why we decided to open our own brand outlet. When consumers spot our directly operated stores in different shopping malls, they’ll be deeply impressed with 52TOYS.
All Weather TMT: How many SKUs do you have now? How frequently do you launch new products?
Chen Wei: In 52TOYS‘ existing IP portfolio, 33% are self-developed IPs, 38% are copyrighted IPs, and 29% are IPs derived from our collaboration with artists. Some products labeled with the kind of brands that we think are decent are also being sold in our directly operated stores, and they complement our current products, which account for more than 80% to 90% of our entire spectrum of products.
All Weather TMT: Is the key to success to obtain a well-known IP license, given that products are based on IPs?
Chen Wei: The first and foremost is to distinguish the two kinds of IPs in the toy market: character IPs and content IPs.
A character IP refers to the image created by a designer, which impresses consumers with itself, though without any content. For instance, LuLu the Piggy, Panda Roll, and Kimmy & Miki, which we launched are all character IPs. Hello Kitty is so far the most typical and successful character IP across the globe. Even without any relevant cartoons, comics, or films, people just like it.
All Weather TMT: You’ve just obtained financing of RMB 400 million, the largest one in the industry this year. What are you going to do with it?
Chen Wei: Mainly for three purposes.
Firstly, our core products. Whether in product engineering, R&D, or improved access to more high-quality IPs, we’ll definitely invest more.
Secondly, channels. We’ll optimize the existing terminal stores that cooperate with us, with the target of upgrading more than half of them in product exhibit, thus making consumers feel that our product exhibit looks prettier. We’ll also open more directly operated outlets, more stores, the number of which is scheduled to reach 100 by the end of next year.
Thirdly, with part of the funds, we’ll support outstanding designers and artists, as well as promising projects, and expand our cooperation with them.
All Weather TMT: But it seems that the growth of designer toys becomes sluggish in the consumer market, 70% of which is supported by such toys, if that’s correct. Will the situation limit the prospects of the industry?
Chen Wei: As far as I’m concerned, for the industry of collectible toys and designer toys, POP MART has played a good role in enlightening the capital market, and even consumes, precisely by means of mystery art toy boxes.
All Weather TMT: What will the industry of designer toys or collectible toys turn into, in your opinion?
Chen Wei: In China, I think there will be several large brands surviving in this industry.
But like I said, collectible toys can be so diverse, and many segmented enterprises will rise.
The industry is still in its infancy stages, and the road ahead will be long. It’s an industry that can incubate century enterprises and is something worthy of continuous efforts.