An Interview With RubyRed Fashion Friends
We recently spent some time with Fred Yuan & the team from RubyRed Fashion Friends. The following interview outlines the philosophy and work of the company in the fashion doll category:
TOY INDUSTRY JOURNAL: Fred, it was a pleasure to spend time with you recently and to see your beautiful range of premium, ultra high-quality fashion dolls under the Ruby Red brand. My first question for you is why you decided to launch Ruby Red Fashion Friends, and how has the product been performing in retail so far?
FRED: Our founder Ruby, had been in the doll business for 50 years. She had created many beautiful collectible dolls for doll collectors around the world. Early last year (in 2019), she met with her grand-niece Maleah in USA, and was pleasantly surprised on how young girls are so attentive to current fashion trends. Maleah would frequently go through fashion magazines and websites with her friends and her mother and discuss, imagine and purchase various things to make themselves look great.
Inspired by this, Ruby envisioned that there should be a high end fashion play doll with the current trends of fashion, and consequently set the plan in motion. With help from famous sculptor Dianna Effner, and designer Melody Young, RubyRed quickly launched a new doll for kids to play in late 2019, with the hopes of providing the latest fashion trends to doll lovers.
TOY INDUSTRY JOURNAL: What do you see as the main strengths & the main competitive advantage of Ruby Red Fashion Friends?
FRED: With the vision of a high end play doll in mind, Ruby’s emphasizes 3 main values, play, quality and in trend.
For play: Our RubyRed Fashion Friends have great hair that is easy to style and restyle. Unlike many of the play dolls in the market, our hair encapsulates the wig cap manufacturing technology, and thus was able to provide hair that has a larger hair width. The larger hair width will prevent hair entanglement and easier styling. Furthermore, the wig cap manufacturing hair technology also provides a wider assortment of colour than the traditional rooted hair technology.
RubyRed Fashion Friends also includes many jointed limbs in the doll, which allows it to have many more poses than other play dolls. As her grand-niece would say to this, “It’s PICTURE time”
For Quality Our Rubyred team pays a lot of attention to quality and will strive the best to deliver the best quality out there. Many of our collectors have responded on YouTube and various other social media on how much they loved our attentiveness to quality.
For In Trend, RubyRed Fashion Friends follows the latest trends for children. Unlike most other dolls in the market, our dolls usually have not only 1 piece of clothing but 3-5 sets of in trend items. Denim jackets, hats, pink fluffy robes, handbags etc.
TOY INDUSTRY JOURNAL: Which is your personal favourite doll from the Ruby Red Fashion Friends range & why?
FRED: Hanna is Ruby’s favourite. Hanna has a very unique “innocent” look on her that really attracts Ruby.
TOY INDUSTRY JOURNAL: Can you share any exciting news for 2020? Any new products or initiatives you can share with our audience?
FRED: For 2020, we have and will design and publish 3-8 limited editions of our RubyRedFashionFriends line. All of these limited editions are unique and one-off. Our designers had a lot of fun designing them and we are quite excited to launch them.
TOY INDUSTRY JOURNAL: My understanding is that this kind of high end Fashion doll is well known in some markets especially the USA, but still growing in some other markets. Can you explain the underlying appeal of this kind of fashion doll and why you think they will roll out globally to be a permanent feature around the world?
FRED: We see two things that are happening in the toy market and around kids. Firstly, there are a plethora of low-cost dolls in the market, but many times, they sacrifice quality for price. We think that there is a consensus among some that would really see a very high-quality doll out there, and we wish to design something for them. Secondly, we see a surge of children who are quite independent in their thinking despite their early age. They would like to choose how they dress and are quite fashion-savvy. Thus we hope to offer a doll that is more in line with the current fashion trends and let kids have their fun in dressing their dolls “in style”.
TOY INDUSTRY JOURNAL: Can you give an idea of your Export plans and which markets you are working on next? Also, what kind of companies/customers are you looking to speak to?
FRED: We are currently selling in USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Eastern Europe. We would like to expand our presence in Europe and perhaps even look into the Middle East. One of our initiatives as we mentioned before, is to issue limited edition dolls, and we plan to make them region exclusive (A France only doll or a USA only doll etc).
TOY INDUSTRY JOURNAL: If we had this talk again in ten years’ time, where do you think Ruby Red will be/how will things have changed and what would still be the same?
FRED: We hope that in ten years we will be a brand that not only provides fashion dolls, but also be in close contact with kids who love our dolls so we can play and design new dolls together. I think with the advancement in technology, there will come a time where kids will be able to send pictures of their own designs of outfits, and we will be able to custom make individual dolls based on their designs.
TOY INDUSTRY JOURNAL: Thanks for this interview Fred. If anyone reading this wants to find out more about Ruby Red or to contact you how can they get in touch?
FRED: They can visit our website at http://www.rubyredfashionfriends.com (for North America) and www.rubyredtoys.com (for rest of the world). Furthermore they can also visit our Facebook page on https://www.facebook.com/rubyredfashionfriends/ (for North America) and https://www.facebook.com/RubyRedToys/ (for rest of the world)