The largest toy distribution chains
Vietnamese parents, whose incomes have improved, are turning their back to cheap Chinese toys and are choosing imports from South Korea, Japan, the US and Europe.
Many toy chains distributing high-quality products with standard services have been increasing.
|Simple toys in thin plastic bags were commonly seen in shops near traditional markets years ago. Today, toys are displayed in modern shopping malls or supermarkets.|
The domestic market is controlled by four chains – Mykingdom (Viet Tinh Anh), FunnyLand (Golden Kids), ToyLand (Phuong Nga) and ToyCity (Con Cung). Of these, Viet Tinh Anh and Phuong Nga are the two companies which distribute products and develop retail chains.
Mykingdom leads the market with the large network of 125 shops, followed by FunnyLand with 28 shops. The third and fourth positions belong to ToyCity with 11 shops and ToyLand with 8 shops.
Of the four chains, ToyCity is the youngest as it was just established late last year. However, it now has 11 shops already and plans to open 100 shops by the end of this year.
Each chain has its own characteristics. Mykingdom focuses on assembling toys of Lego or superhero of DC Comics and Marvel, while FunnyLand has Takara Tomy and Brandstaetter Stiftun products and ToyCity mostly provides the products for children aged below three, which are not too expensive.
Ten years ago, genuine toy products can be found at some high-end department stores, such as Fahasa book store chain or PNC. Meanwhile, they are now available at many supermarkets and shops.
Though analysts agree that the toy market has become very promising, the value of the market remains unknown.
According to Chinese customs agencies, in 2016, the country exported $170 million worth of toys and games to Vietnam, an increase of 150 percent compared with four years ago.
With 80 percent of toys in Vietnam sourced from China, it is estimated that the total import toy turnover is $200 million a year.
However, the market is believed to be valued at nearly $1 billion if referring to a report by NKid, in which toys are included in products for children, including clothes and nappies, worth $1.1 billion a year.
Vietnam has 20 million children aged 0-12. It is estimated that every parent spends VND500,000 a month for every child. In HCMC, the figure is three times higher.
“It is difficult to measure the scale of the market,” the director of a toy chain in HCMC said. However, he stressed that Vietnamese taste has changed. “They want safe toys with clear origin stated,” he said.