The Toy Industry’s Terra Incognito


There are numerous, mostly untapped markets for the toy industry to explore. That is what I learned after reading an intriguing report prepared by the management consulting firm, ATKearney. Entitled "The 2019 Global Retail Development Index™," the report "ranks emerging countries based on a set of twenty-five variables including four key variables: country risk, market attractiveness, market saturation, and sales growth."

Here are the top 30 countries listed:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. Malaysia
  4. Ghana
  5. Indonesia
  6. Senegal
  7. Saudi Arabia
  8. Jordan
  9. UAE
  10. Colombia
  11. Viet Nam
  12. Morocco
  13. Peru
  14. Dominican Republic
  15. Kazakhstan
  16. Brazil
  17. Bulgaria
  18. Sri Lanka
  19. Azerbaijan
  20. Philippines
  21. Paraguay
  22. Turkey
  23. Russia
  24. Thailand
  25. Tunisia
  26. Egypt
  27. Serbia
  28. Tanzania
  29. Guatemala
  30. Nigeria

What fascinated me was the number of countries that are basically off the map for the toy industry. I'll give you an example. We sell, on our website, Gameplan Europe's highly respected International Toy Buyer Directory. The Gameplan Diretory covers 48 countries.

I checked the Gameplan listings to see which of the 30 countries on the ATKearney list were included in the Gameplan Europe directory. There were ten: China, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey, Russia.

That is a respectable number, but it does not include emerging markets like The Phillippines (107 million people and $148 Billion in Retail Sales), Thailand (66 million people and $146 Billion in Retail Sales), and Indonesia (265 million people and $396 Billion in retail sales). These countries and others are, therefore, terra incognito as far as the toy industry is concerned.

No toy company can afford to ignore consumers wherever they are in the world. Whether we enter a market, however, is ultimately up to us and our capacity to handle change and new frontiers. We do, however, need to make educated decisions. I plan to do some research on some of these markets and when I do I will share with you what I learn. If you have relevant information, fill us in.


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