All companies want to build customer loyalty due to the high return on time, effort, and money it gives them for providing goods and services. Loyal customers buy more, the cost of selling to them is low, and they may recommend your business.
In an attempt to raise a sense of brand loyalty with community members that tend to be active fans of particular companies, products or services, companies appeal to the sense of belonging and identification through a formidable positioning resource: collectibles.
Collectible promotional toys have proven to be a very efficient way to keep regular customers pleased and attract new ones. If you want to know how collectibles can help you to boost your business, continue reading.
If you are interested in learning more about advertising your brand, we recommend you our article about: "Wholesale promotional products".
The collecting phenomenon and its market
Today we live in the so-called welfare society, where almost everything is effortless to achieve. Most of us do not need to risk our lives to cover our basic needs, which makes it so satisfying for a collector to find that unique object he has been looking for (1).
Also, nostalgia plays a vital role when it comes to marketing to collectors. Action figures for superhero movies are the most popular among collectors. Adults or millennial parents are the primary consumers of these products (2).
As stated by famous English naturalist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough, "In childhood, you are a collector by nature: collecting and identifying is a basic instinct, something rooted in all of us (3)."
This is what the companies dedicated to launching collectible items on the market know, especially at the beginning of the year, when we make new resolutions and are more vulnerable to being convinced (1).
For that reason, one of the keys to collections is that they have no end. When a collection is popular, consumers do not want it to end (3).
In Europe, the sales for collectible toy manufacturers has rocketed in the last two years, almost doubling. Thus, in 2017, this market segment went from 38 M€ to 72,5 M€ (4).
According to a study of collectible toy manufacturers, these were the best-selling of 2017 (4) :
- L.O.L. Surprise!
- Sylvanian Families
- Funko Pop!
Not to mention the football-related products which sell, until May, increased by 75%, reaching 2.3 M€ (4).
Compared to last year, the average price of each collectible
has increased by 30% (4).
Top collectible toy manufacturers
In the USA, the collectible market increased by 33% in 2016 (2). Several market research reports indicate the top players in the collectibles market are Hasbro, Lego, Mattel, Mi Alegría (distroller line), Prinsel, Funko, and Nintendo's Amiibo.
Collectible toy manufacturers and their numbers
Hasbro, Inc. is said to have been the # 2 toymaker in the U.S. During the first quarter of 2017, revenue grew to $849.7 million due to strong demand for toys focused on franchises such as 'Transformers.' Hasbro's overall revenues for 2017 amounted to $5.21 billion (2).
Mattel's Barbie brand generated gross sales of $954.9 million in 2017. Barbie dolls are also considered collectible toys, some of which are more expensive than $160 or more. In 2017, Mattel's total sales amounted to $4.88 billion (2).
- Mi Alegría
For more than 50 years they have been innovating with different series of toys and brands, for example, the Distroller series (5).
It is a Mexican company that has established itself as a pioneer in the articles and toys field for children (6).
Lego's overall North American sales amounted to $3.79 B for 2015-2016 (2).
The market for collectibles from Funko has grown from 25 percent to 50 percent annually over the last few years. In 2016, the company posted sales of $400 million, which was 50% higher than in the previous year (2).
- Nintendo Amiibo
These toys are called collectibles since a "large group of collectors are willing to spend $13 to collect a physical image of one of their favorite characters (2)."
But these collectible toy manufacturers are not just successful; these companies generate employment sources as many of them subcontract toy manufacturers across the globe to get the job done.
The number of superhero films released over the last few
years is said to have contributed to sales growth (2).
Typically, promotional toys are given away, regularly as bonuses, to advertise a brand, company name, or event at little or no expense. Promotional toys require a well thought out marketing plan, as well as retail marketing.
Companies and corporations usually purchase their products mainly from the promotional goods distributors. Such distributors are referred to as promotional advisors.
These professionals have the expertise to market the product and provide full assistance in order processing and artwork and supplying promotional merchandise from various manufacturing sources, including plastic injection molding.
Getting the right designer/supplier combo to increase your sales through attractive original plastic designs for promotional toys to position your brand and impact the market is crucial. We’re sure we will be able to give you all the help you need, just contact us.
To learn more about the plastic production process and advantages, please read our article: "Promotional merchandise: comparisons, costs, and ROI".
If you want to read a guide to compare the full range of services you'll run into the market and pick your best option, we recommend you to read our content about plastic product design.
Collectible toy manufacturers make their products
mainly with a decorative purpose and not for play.
Popular collectible toys
Whether it's about characters, movies, or video games, collectibles aren't limited to kids; they’re made for a more demanding public. In the last few years, this industry has become more reliable.
The decoration process is typically more complex for collectible toy manufacturers. The attention to detail in these toys may require more than one method of decoration, whether it's spray masking, pad printing, or even labeling.
Also, board games are trendy and need little material to be made. As for plastic, you can order tokens, dice, and accessories. Some brands have created their own board game to get their business positioned (7).
To learn more about board game manufacturers, please read our article:
"Board game manufacturers: all that you need to know".
Our success stories as collectible toy manufacturer
Being a successful toy manufacturer is a challenge in an industry as fast as the toy industry. The proper product development, watching trends, and adapting to new trendy materials and changes is critical to success. Under these criteria, we’re proud to present some of our products and stories of success.
The experience with some of the most innovative brands in the industry makes us a global player in the manufacture of games and toys. Brands such as Chicco, Burger King, Grezon, and Vualá have full confidence in our creative and manufacturing capabilities.
Importadora Grezon, S.A. de C.V. is a private company founded in 1999. It is dedicated to making surprise chocolate eggs (8).
Owned by Artsana, Chicco is an Italian manufacturer of children's clothing and toys. Chicco has become a global brand with a presence in 120 countries, selling everything from baby gear to breastfeeding, toys, clothes, shoes and items for baby care. Its range of products includes car seats, strolls, and accessories (9).
- Burger King
It was founded in 1954 and is the world's second-largest fast food hamburger chain (10). Burger King's menu has expanded to a diverse set of products, from burgers to French fries, sodas, and milkshakes.
It was a pioneer in the "product tie-in" practice, generating additional income and promoting its brand.
Vualá Sorpresa is a brand of mini-croissants filled with cream. These are sold with a collectible line of toys (11).
It is an American international food manufacturing corporation with its headquarters in Michigan, USA. According to their own portfolio (12), Kellogg's produces cereals, crackers and toaster pastries. Its products include several well-known brands, such as Corn Flakes, Pringles, etc.
SpongeBob Bowl Buddies, our new star case
This is undoubtedly our most recent and remarkable success in a toy-line campaign. And this success is far from being a surprise. As we know, SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the most beloved characters of pop-culture with millions of fans around the world.
This was a minimalist yet effective idea: colorful plastic figures of the main characters, SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, and Sandy Cheeks, to hang in a cereal bowl. All this as part of the promotion of Paramount/ Nickelodeon co-production The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.
It was the perfect combining of a meticulous campaign, a creative design, and well-executed mass production by a professional toy manufacturer. Obviously, reactions on social networks didn’t take long:
The fans are so excited that they even started selling them on eBay to a price of up to USD 19.95. Crazy.
It is essential not to forget that copyright and proper
licensing play a significant role in collectibles.
Statistics about collectible toys
Let’s look at some numbers. According to The NPD Group Reports on 2019 Global Toy Industry Sales:
"In 2019, Action Figures & Accessories and Games/Puzzles were the two growth areas for the year […] Action Figures (+11 percent), Action Figure Playsets & accessories (+21 percent), Action Figure Collectibles (+16 percent) and Battling Toys & Playsets (+41 percent) all contributed to the growth of Action Figures overall (13)."
The market segment of collectibles is the fastest growing sector of the toy industry. It is also a little crowded, which gives the perfect opportunity to grow massively and let us be part of it.
If you’re looking for the right supplier to manufacture your collectibles, do not hesitate to contact us. You will see that we are up to your task, even adapting our manufacturing in these moments.
If you want to know more about how we’re handling the current situation, we invite you to read our article: "Plastics manufacturing during COVID-19".
 Alfred López. ¿Por qué el ser humano tiene la necesidad de coleccionar cosas? (In Spanish). La Sexta, 2017. Accessed June 1, 2020.
 Mik W. et al. Insights into Collectible Figure Manufacturers and Customers. Askwonder, 2018. Accessed June 2, 2020.
 Eva Millet. La mente del coleccionista (In Spanish). La Vanguardia, 2011. Accessed June 2, 2020.
 Alimarket Gran Consumo. Los juguetes coleccionables duplican cuota de mercado en dos años (In Spanish). Alimarket Gran Consumo Blog, 2018. Accessed June 1, 2020.
 Mi Alegría. Quiénes somos (In Spanish). Mi Alegría, 2020. Accessed June 11, 2020.
 Prinsel. Quiénes somos (In Spanish). Prinsel, 2016. Accessed June 11, 2020.
 Martin’s Plastics. Inyección de plástico: guía de procesos, ejemplos y costos. (In Spanish). Martin’s Plastics Blog, 2019. Accessed June 4, 2020.
 Grezon. Quiénes somos (In Spanish). Grezon, 2017. Accessed June 5, 2020.
 Chicco USA. About our brand. Chicco, 2020. Accessed June 11, 2020.
 Burger King. About us. Burger King, 2020. Accessed June 11, 2020.
 Vualá Sorpresa. FanPage. Facebook, January 20, 2020. Accessed June 5, 2020.
 Kellogg’s. Kellogg’s. Kellogg’s Brand, 2019. Accessed June 11, 2020.
 NPD. The NPD Group Reports on 2019 Global Toy Industry Sales. NPD Blog, 2020. Accessed June 6, 2020.