Z Is For Zuru, Zapf Creations & Ziv – Toy Industry A To Z

ZURU

Zuru co-founders Nick and Mat Mowbray started the company back in 2003, before being joined by their sister Anna. The company has since enjoyed hits including Robofish, Bunch o Ballons and X-Shot. The siblings recently purchased the most expensive house in New Zealand, their home country. By the end of 2020, Zuru employed 8500 people, had 26 offices and revenues of over $1billion.

ZAPF CREATIONS

Zapf Creations is a long standing and world-renowned toy doll company. Founded way back in 1934 in Rodental in Germany, the best-known products are Baby Born, Baby Annabell and Chou Chou. Baby Born has been in market for 30 years and was ground breaking at the time of launch for the lifelike look and functionality of the product with crying, urinating and eye action all part of a winning formula.

SY ZIV

Sy Ziv was a driving force for Toys R Us for 26 years between 1958 and 1985. He was involved in the development of the TRU format, and domestic and international expansion.

We run a Consultancy business helping toy & games companies get ahead. For more information, check out www.KidsBrandInsight.com/services


We also run a Strategic Sourcing Consultancy advising toy & game companies around the world on their Sourcing strategies, reviewing their vendor base & suggesting improvements. To date our Sourcing services have saved our clients $tens of millions. For more information on how we can help, just go to: www.ToyTeamAsia.com

Y IS FOR YU GI OH, YNON & YO-YO – TOY INDUSTRY A TO Z


YU GI OH

Yu Gi Oh has been a massive thang in trading card games for a couple of decades or more. The franchise is centred around manga style animation content featuring a boy and a trading card game. To date the physical product trading card game has sold more than 25 BILLION (!) cards. This perennial brand doesn’t seem to capture quite the headlines of fellow Japanese animation franchise Pokémon, but nevertheless it has been a major force at the checkouts.

YNON KREIZ

Ynon Kreiz is an American-Israeli businessman who is in the process of successfully turning around Mattel’s global business after a few tough years. Kreiz succeeded former Google exec Margo Georgiadis, and in doing so took over a company with softening sales, an iconic flagship brand in Barbie which had not embraced and updated the brand image for the social media age and a company massively behind long term rival Hasbro in terms of transitioning from toy company to entertainment company. Since taking the helm of Mattel in 2018, Mattel’s fortunes have improved and Kreiz’s strategy and execution of strategy has made a major positive impact.

YO-YO

One thing you can guarantee in the toy business is that every few years Yo-Yos will make a comeback. But unlike most iconic toys we have today, the Yo-Yo did not come to the fore in the 20th century…in fact, according to Wikipedia, there is an ancient Greek vase which was found well preserved showing a child playing with a Yo-Yo way back in 44BC! Yo-Yos were also around in the 17th century where they were known as ‘bandalores’. The Yo-Yo therefore proves that classic play patterns are truly timeless.

We run a Consultancy business helping toy & games companies get ahead. For more information, check out www.KidsBrandInsight.com/services


We also run a Strategic Sourcing Consultancy advising toy & game companies around the world on their Sourcing strategies, reviewing their vendor base & suggesting improvements. To date our Sourcing services have saved our clients $tens of millions. For more information on how we can help, just go to: www.ToyTeamAsia.com

X Is For X-Men, X Box and X-Shot


X-Men

X-Men is the eighth highest grossing film series of all time with staggering total box office gross receipts topping $6billion. Superheroes like Wolverine have been a strong presence in the toy aisle since the original movie trilogy released between 2000 and 2006. At the time of writing there is speculation/reports of a reinvention Movie coming out of Marvel Studios…we’ll be watching with high anticipation for that if it happens!

Xbox

Microsoft’s Xbox was a massive disruptor when the first iteration launched way back in 2001. We’re now into the fourth ‘generation’ of this iconic video games console, with total console sales in excess of 160million over time. The impact Microsoft has thus had on the video game space is therefore massive. Aside from cannibalising toy sales due to kids putting Xbox consoles high up on their wish lists for Christmas, Xbox and Microsoft also own some key video gaming IP which has driven huge toy sales – not least of which would be Minecraft, acquired by Xbox in 2014, which has moved large quantities of toys off shelves in recent years.

X-Shot

X-Shot is the toy blaster brand owned by Zuru, a toy company originating from New Zealand with owned manufacturing facilities in China. “The brand website states the brand mission as offering value to our fans worldwide”, while delivering design excellence and market leading quality. In most toy retailers, where they have toy blasters, they tend to have two brands primarily – X-Shot & Nerf. Nerf’s massive global success is hard to compete with, but X-Shot manages to be a credible player with a broad range in a lot of retailers, despite the strength of the biggest brand in the category.

We run a Consultancy business helping toy & games companies get ahead. For more information, check out www.KidsBrandInsight.com/services


We also run a Strategic Sourcing Consultancy advising toy & game companies around the world on their Sourcing strategies, reviewing their vendor base & suggesting improvements. To date our Sourcing services have saved our clients $tens of millions. For more information on how we can help, just go to: www.ToyTeamAsia.com