Finally, the toy industry in the
country is growing! From stagnating at 5 per cent two
years ago, it has been growing by about 15 per cent
annually, Mr David Daniel Selvaraj, marketing manager,
Funskool India Ltd, told Business Line.
The growth is driven by two factors:
retail expansion and the import of a wide variety of
toys by companies as well as lifestyle stores. Some
department store chains , such as Lifestyle, have even
launched their own branded range of toys.
Imports are growing in quantity as
well as quality. "Five years ago, most of the imports
were junk. But now their quality is going up" and
well-heeled parents are willing to pay, especially if
they are branded, says Mr Selvaraj. Funskool has quite
a few tie-ups to import merchandise based on popular
cartoon/animation series on television channels.
The range of such products include
Beyblades, Disney Princesses and Noddy. It also helps
that these toys are cheaper here than abroad, he
The acceptance of costlier imports
has spurred Funskool to launch pricier toys. Pointing
to a toddler's scooter set in his office, Mr Selvaraj
says it costs Rs 2,399, adding that about five years
ago, the company rarely priced/stocked a toy/game that
cost more than Rs 500.
Most of the imported varieties are
those based on TV series, a host of battery-operated
toys and cars, he said.
However, prices of toys made locally
by Funskool, and of the staple ones, haven't gone up
in the last three years.
Beyblades is the largest selling toy
ever, Mr Selvaraj said. "We sold double of what we
sold of Pokemon," he explained, adding that he expects
the craze to last another year.
Manufactured by Japanese toy major
Takara and imported by Funskool, Beyblades were
introduced in the Indian market in June 2005, soon
after Cartoon Network started airing the series.
Beyblade Championships are a regular
annual feature overseas and were hosted for the first
time in India by Funskool last year in 15 cities.
Season 3 of the Beyblade series called G Revolution
will be aired on Cartoon Network in the next few
With prospects looking up for the toy
industry, Funskool is eyeing a turnover of Rs 50 crore
in 2006-07. While there is no single estimate of the
toy market's size, Funskool estimates it at Rs 450
crore-Rs 500 crore, the unorganised segment accounting
for 60 per cent share.