Toy collectibles market is segmented by product (Primary Products, Secondary Products); By Sales channels (Licensed Manufacturers, Third Party Collectibles Aggregator, E-commerce Shopping Portal, Offline Retail Sales); By Seller Type (Enterprises and Collectors)
With the global collectibles market valued at $370 billion, Collectibles are a force to reckon with in the $94.7 billion global toys market. This report would be covering how trends such as digitalisation and luxury are affecting the growth of this industry and how the big names are adopting these changes.
Toy Collectibles market was valued at $9.5 Billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.1% during 2021 to 2031.
The value of any given toy collectible was initially determined by how much nostalgia and emotion it could invoke in the collector, all it simply took for a toy to become a collectible was for it to be old enough to be considered vintage or antique thereby invoking some level of prestige in ownership. By the mid 20th century, franchise-driven action figures began dominating the toy industry and the value of collectibles were subsequently being tied to the character or action figure in question.
Of course, the older these figurines got the more valuable they were as collectibles. Hence, the popular misconception that a toy needed to be vintage or antique before it can be seen as a collectible, that isnt the case anymore. The value of a collectible is largely determined by how much people want it.
This is exactly why the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises were welcomed heartedly at the time, they launched at a time when the world was hungry for space related entertainment.
A perfect case study would be that of popular German toy maker Steiff, who made a teddy bear in 2000 and sold it in the same year for $2.1 million. The teddy was adorned in Louis Vuitton travel gear complete with the coveted travel luggage. This increased the estimated value, thereby creating demand among elite collectors.
Toy manufacturers have since taken cue and followed suit, this naturally led to the growth of Designer toy collectibles.
Designer Toy Collectibles Market.
Unlike the antique/vintage collectibles industry that are majorly dominated by big names like:
● Hot wheels
● Star wars/Trek
● Beanie babies
● G.I Joe and so on.
The designer toy collectibles market has a lower entry level criteria, allowing both new toy makers and older ones alike to either team up with designer brands or specialise in making limited edition toy collectibles.
In the world of designer toy collectibles, a brands name could be a plus, but not a determining factor. The major driver is exclusivity, hence the attention on limited edition collectibles.
Here are two examples of such brands:
● Kidrobot: Kidrobot is a designer toy collectibles maker, whos known for a variety of products such as their simpsons collectible mini set and so on.
● KAWS: He is popular for his morbid Mickey mouse inspired toys called the Companions. Which initially sold for a couple hundred dollars for smaller sizes to millions for larger sizes.
In the world of designer toy collectibles, the allure isnt how old a collectible is, but how premium and exclusive it is. This has given another face to the world of collectibles.
The Future of Toy Collectibles
The toy collectibles industry has also been affected by the digitalisation of collectibles. This industry has seen some, if not most, of its big names make the move to digitise their best selling toys into digital collectibles, and this move has been welcomed by their respective audiences.
Here are some of the big names making this shift:
● MGA entertainment: An American toy giant, famous for their Bratz toys, partnered with ioconic, a full service partnership business based in London, to build the digital ecosystem for their L.O.L Surprise dolls. The L.O.L surprise toys were the best selling property three years in a row (2018-2020) generating $25 billion dollars in retail sales, it comes as little surprise that theyre going digital in 2021.
● Mattel: American toy giants, popular for Hot wheels and Barbie dolls have also taken a dive into the digital collectibles space. Mattel on June 22 launched their limited edition collectibles of their Hot Wheels NFT garage series, which was exclusively on their Mattel Creations website.
These are two of the most popular, but not only, transitions to the rapidly growing digital collectibles industry.
Digital Vs Physical.
Currently valued at $370 billion, the digital collectibles market has experienced some exponential growth. With the big names in the industry capitalising on this "explosion" and hype, the digitalisation of toys has allowed industry giants to enter a broader ecosystem of consumers with little entry cost and higher profit margins.
The debate however has been whether collectors would abandon the feel and attachment of their physical collectibles to the mere feeling of ownership that comes with digital collectibles.
On the other hand, NFTs and digitalisation seem to be the future. As the collectibles market has proven to be driven by perceived value and demand, Blockchain enthusiasts believe that the convergence of the online community and hype around crypto would be enough to effect the transition from physical to digital.
At first glance, toy collectibles would seem like a hobby for video games and action-figure enthusiasts, but the boom of digital collectibles has seen the pride of ownership quickly becoming the major reason the consumer market desires collectibles. A significant percentage of the collector community are simply content with the knowledge of ownership, this fact coupled with the video game communitys growing size of an older demographic, are factors that are making digital toy collectibles just as valuable as their physical equivalent.
Battle of the Demographics
The toys collectibles market has experienced a shift in target audience within the last decade. From targeting majorly franchise enthusiastic collectors to luxury collectors driven by desire of ownership. This has proven to be an advantage for artists like KAWS who ended up selling projects for higher amounts than the presale estimated value.
Will the advent of luxury collectors see the value of limited edition franchise collectibles rise exponentially over the coming years, making them less accessible to the brand loyal middle-class collectors? How would these big names position their collectibles to accommodate both parties?
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