Wow, is the Chinese Vinyl Art Market really worth $6 billion?


Musings By Joschik
Christian obsesses over collectibles, antiques and toys more than the average person, but (he believes) in a productive way. Documenting collectibles has been a passion since working on a book about his favorite childhood toys from Timpo 41 years ago.


 

I am a junky for collectible stats and when our man in South America, Javier send me a Bloomberg article on the Chinese Designer Toy market (we refer to it as Vinyl Art Toys) I had to study it.  It claimed the market to be valued at 38.4 billion yuan (that is $5.96 billion!!!).  That is a very, very hard-to-believe number even if we are getting used to some crazy market size estimates (like Trading Cars are growing from $13.5 to 100 billion between today and 2027…).

Luckily the Bloomberg article linked to its source, a Chinese article.  Looking at the English translation it backs Bloomberg up but not when you look at the graphic  –

 

I could not find more information besides on other Chinese sites but think it says 384.3 million Yuan here (so $60m)  –  a much more reasonable number.  When I tried the Chinese language version of the Source article I found this  –

 

As the Vinyl Art Toy market is generally reported under the toy market.  According to HKTDC Research, the Chinese toy market is about $12 billion in 2021.  It further says that about 12.6% of that is what they call Dolls/Mini Figurines, so $1.5 billion.  That would include L.O.L. dolls and anything small.  To be confusing there is also a report by Renub Research that claims the 2021 market is 48.3 billion but it got much less coverage and seems too high (the US market for 2020 according to US Toy Association relying on trusted NPD data is $32.6 billion.

Another way to look at it is to look at investments into the sector.  That might not work so well in China as investments might not be recorded in the databases I rely on (Crunchbase, Reuter, trade publications and websites, Google search).  And true enough, there is either very little or it is hard to research from the US.  I only found one transaction in the first 8 months of 2021 in my research, a $12 million Private Equity investment into Mighty Jaxx, a long-time Vinyl Art Toy brand.

So if you see the $6 billion number be forewarned.  I had a good time looking for more info, for example, this article that explained that 52% of buyers in this Segment are female (which is more than we see for example for Funko) or that a newish brand called Tmall is believed to be increasing sales 100x this year (it did not give a base number)!

Apparently a Tmall product

 

Thanks again to Javier for a lot of follow-on materials!  You are the best.

If you know more about the Chinese market do tell us in the Comments, please!

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