On September 2021, 52TOYS closed its series C financing of 62.8 million USD, the largest funding in the industry in China. The company has also submitted a very satisfying sales report in this year’s Double 11 Shopping Festival (China’s Black Friday), with the YoY growth of the first 10 minutes pre-sales amount increasing more than 300%. People get familiar with 52TOYS through its blind box. The ambition of the company is more than blind box, but to be China’s first brand in collectible toys industry. Then, what is collectible toy and why 51TOYS aims to be the first brand in this category?
Compared with blind box, collectible toys possess a much more colossal “super-set”, defined as “collecting all kinds of toys that can be collected or carry the feelings of collectors”, including garage kit, BJD dolls, assembled models, statues and so forth. Nevertheless, blind box is just an enter-level product in the scope of collectible toys, and its popularity is largely owe to the relatively low entry threshold.
The co-founder of 52TOYS, Chen Wei, believes that it is definitely unrealistic for the future market if there is only blind box in the industry. With the background as a veteran player of collectible toys and decades of operation experience in the industry, Chen Wei once was the retailer of collectible toys and many famous international collectible toys brands’ domestic general agent.
In 2015, Chen Wei co-founded 52TOYS with the founder of Three Kingdom Wars (an online game), and COO of Yoka games Huang Jin. In the early stage, the business focus was on the “toys development for TO B market” which was regarded as stepping into the crooked road. However, it also was this experience that set up the upstream and downstream supply chain that laid the foundation for 52TOYS to shift its business by focusing on TO C market. All these experience imparted the message to Chen Wei that in the track of toys, the company needs to have a more diversified product portfolio to enter into a wider market.
Since its inception, 52TOYS has positioned itself as a collectible toys brand with a diversified product and marketing strategy. Now it is has already developed six product lines, including blind boxes, figures, deformation toys, action figures, designer&artists toys and 52PUZboard games. The blind box aims to attract young women consumers with its cute appearance. The BEASTBOX series with cool appearances has gained a large number of male players. While the “Chaohuophua series” which blends with Chinese traditional culture and elements are loved and welcomed by all ages. Moreover, Chen Wei his team to have a comprehensive understanding of all the products in the markets both domestically and internationally.
When it comes to IP, 52TOYS adopts a “Double-wheal Strategy”, which means that the IPs consist of the self-designed IPs and the cooperative IPs such as Disney Princess, Tom and Jerry, Harry Potter, Crayon Xiaoxin, My King Sleep and so on. These cooperative IPs have to be unique and different from other brands so as to be competitive in the market, which forces the design team to have a deep understanding of those IPs and to be creative to avoid homogenization.
As for the original IP, how does it get recognized by the market? Firstly, experienced employees can draw a preliminary judgment based on their experience. Secondly, the company will launch researches through internal or external channels to form an objective evaluation of the product. The research scopes include dealers, fan groups and so forth. It is based on the rich experience and thorough research that the company can ensure the IPs to be accepted and welcomed by the market to the maximum.
With coverage of the whole supply chain, excellent R&D ability, IP design capability and experienced team, 52TOYS is making roads into the first collectible toy brand in China.