Toronto, Canada-based toy and entertainment company Spin Master is launching its popular Hatchimals and PAW Patrol brands in China. China’s multi-billion-dollar toys and games market is the second-largest in the world, and this expansion is the latest move in Spin Master’s ongoing growth strategy. Moving forward, the company will expand all of its core brands throughout China.
Both PAW Patrol and Hatchimals products will be available in China next month in 137 Toys “R” Us stores, along with full market support at top online retailers (including Tmall.com and JD.com), as well as department store chains.
Hatchimals–toy eggs that hatch to reveal their inner colorful creatures–debuted in October and went on to be the hit toy of the holiday season. The brand has since expanded into the collectibles category with Hatchimals Colleggtibles. Additionally, Penguin Random House Children’s UK recently picked up world publishing rights (excluding North America) for the property. The three-year publishing program will build the Hatchimals world with fiction, activity formats and a collector’s guide.
Preschool brand PAW Patrol is also a top performer for Spin Master. Gross Q1 product sales for the company’s Preschool and Girls segment went up 6.6% to US$84.7 million, driven largely by PAW Patrol. The animated series PAW Patrol was also recently renewed by US kidsnet Nickelodeon, where it reigns as the top preschool show across all TV (from December 26 to April 30). The Spin Master-produced series will be getting a fifth season consisting of 26 new half-hour episodes.
The move comes as companies like Mattel focus on accelerating growth in China. While Mattel experienced a disappointing fiscal first quarter, the toymaker reported a 19% net sales increase in the Asia-Pacific region.
According to global market research company Euromonitor International, Mattel has about 2% market share in China, while construction toy maker Lego boasts 2.8%. Mattel predicts its business in China will grow to three or four times larger by 2020, and announced in April that it would expand its partnership with global e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group to develop, market and sell playthings specifically designed for Chinese customers. This expanded agreement will allow Mattel to tap into Alibaba’s Tmall.com marketplace, which has 440 million active buyers.
Earlier this month, Mattel formed a new joint-venture with Shanghai-based investment company Fosun Group to introduce learning and play clubs for children and families across China in early 2018, allowing Mattel to tap into China’s US$30-billion early education market.