Traditional Toys in Asia Pacific

August 2021

Before the pandemic, Asia Pacific was fastest growing traditional toys market with significant room for growth due to the low spending per household on traditional toys compared to the rest of the world. While the pandemic has proved a setback due to the closures of physical toy stores and affected consumers’ income, the market is expected to rebound from 2022 onwards through education and local licensing. Sales to adult consumers (or “kidults”) will also be crucial to drive value sales growth.

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Key Findings

Pandemic resulted in huge loss for traditional toys market in Asia Pacific

The pandemic has proved a setback for Asia Pacific’s traditional toys market as it fails to follow its original growth trajectory. It was previously expected to be the fastest growing market during the 2015-2020 period. The gloomy economic conditions mean that consumers are saving for essential purchases only.

Low spending per household represents room for further growth

Asia Pacific’s spending per household on traditional toys is one third the level the rest of the world spends. Developing countries in Southeast Asia and developed countries such as China will be a focus for manufacturers to acquire new consumers.

Competition from free-to-play mobile games to undermine growth

Mobile games in Asia Pacific grew 25% in 2020 as many were offered free to play, which fits consumers’ mindset of saving during the pandemic. Consumers eventually become hooked and start spending on in-game items. This template will continue over the forecast period with the increasing penetration of smartphones.

Offline traditional toy stores remain crucial post-pandemic; e-commerce gains traction during the pandemic

Despite the closure of offline toy stores in 2020 and 2021, the channel will remain crucial for consumers as children still prefer to see and try products before buying them. Meanwhile, e-commerce will be the go-to channel for consumers to get the best deal after viewing products in stores or for consumer with time constraints.

“Kidults” to drive value sales in region, especially in mature markets

“Kidults” or adult consumers are looking at activities for tech detox, especially as the pandemic forces them to work from home and interact through a screen all day. This group of consumers has the budget and is willing to spend on premium items.

Local licensing to remain crucial for manufacturers to gain share

Local licensing has become more crucial for international manufacturers to maintain growth or gain more share in Asia Pacific. Local manufacturers in Japan and China have shown that toys with local taste will attract a wider audience.


Key findings

Regional Overview

COVID-19 proves a setback for traditional toys growth in Asia Pacific
Pandemic creates more budget-conscious consumers
Mature markets benefited from the pandemic
Blind collectibles emerges to take the spotlight
Construction toys find popularity across all markets
Action figures loses battle against COVID-19
Action figures and dolls see increasing consumer awareness
COVID-19 erases strong historic performance in most categories
Construction toys creates a successful template for others
Traditional toys and games stores remain crucial
E-commerce campaigns help boost sales growth
Smartphones becomes the go-to channel for research

Leading Companies and Brands

Market maturity is key for top brands to grow
Consumer engagement helps LEGO take the lead
Local licensing finds success at home
Pandemic proves to be challenging for many top brands
Mattel in Asia Pacific
Hasbro in Asia Pacific

Forecast Projections

Largest traditional toys and games markets in Asia Pacific
Traditional toys and games powerhouse
Forecast growth to be driven by India, Indonesia and the Philippines
Southeast Asia remains the market with most potential
Southeast Asia remains the market with most potential

Country Snapshots

China: Market context
China: Competitive and retail landscape
Japan: Market context
Japan: Competitive and retail landscape
South Korea: Market context
South Korea: Competitive and retail landscape
India: Market context
India: Competitive and retail landscape
Indonesia: Market context
Indonesia: Competitive and retail landscape
Thailand: Market context
Thailand: Competitive and retail landscape
Taiwan: Market context
Taiwan: Competitive and retail landscape
Philippines: Market context
Philippines: Competitive and retail landscape
Hong Kong, China: Market context
Hong Kong, China: Competitive and retail landscape
Malaysia: Market context
Malaysia: Competitive and retail landscape
Singapore: Market context
Singapore: Competitive and retail landscape


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