Brazil and Toys

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I am honored to be invited by 
Synésio Batista da Costa, President of ABRINQ, the Brazilian Association of Manufacturers of Toys to speak at this year’s Brazilian Toy Fair (ABRIN) which will take place in Sao Paulo from April 9 through 12.  

I have to admit, that other than referencing Brazil as one of the BRIC countries (the others being Russia, India and China) I have not paid sufficient attention to one of the fastest growing economies in the world. So, I decided to do some research and was impressed to see that Brazil, with a population just under 200 million has the 7th largest GDP in the world.  Here are the top 10:

  1. United States
  2. China
  3. India
  4. Japan
  5. Germany
  6. Russia
  7. Brazil
  8. United Kingdom
  9. France
  10. Italy

But what about the toy industry?  Well, things seem to be looking up, at least the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s biggest private equity investment firms, thinks so.  According to a March 2, 2012 Wall Street Journal article, “Carlyle Group Acquires 85% Stake In Brazil Toy Chain Ri Happy,” the company see the Brazilian toy industry as having major growth potential.”

 Brazil has not, however, always been easy for foreign companies to penetrate with their products.  I intend to better understand this situation while I am in Brazil.  For example, the show I will be attending is only open to exhibitors who are registered as Brazilian companies.  That means that those wishing to enter need to find Brazilian distribution partners.  In addition, actually producing products in Brazil rather than exporting them into the country may be a consideration as tariffs on imported toys were 35% as of January 2011.

That's not all, an article on entitled “Brazil to slap quality control on China goods” sited the daily Brazilian paper O Globo, as reporting that “Brazil plans to impose strict quality control on imports from China and other Asian nations to prevent the influx of cheap goods…”

Bottom line, Brazil is one of the world’s great economies and offers some excellent prospects for those who wish to enter the market.  Doing so, however, is going to require an education.  I am looking forward to learning more while in Brazil and will report back as my education progresses.





4 thoughts

  1. How would you describe the toys that are sold in the Brazilian market? Is licensing big there? Among Brazilian companies, are there just a few large brands that dominate or do small inventors sell most of the toys? How do their products differ from ours?

  2. Hi Richard – Wholeheartedly agree with Paul. Learning about new opportunities and the process for entry is always intriguing. Looking forward to hearing more as you learn how to break into #7. Safe travels!

  3. Richard, what might be interesting to your North America and European readers is how receptive local distributors are to making import relationships.
    My impression has always been one of a closed market in toys based on domestic production/distribution, except probably for the few mega-businesses in our industry.

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