The ‘Cry Babies’ circumvent the crisis and assault the US

It does not matter a delay that is taken for granted, raw materials at an uncertain price, or transport up to six times more expensive: “The toys will arrive for Christmas& rdquor ;. They will, yes, about a month later than usual and forcing companies such as IMC Toys to adjust margins so as not to raise prices. “In 40 years I had never experienced such a situation & rdquor ;, acknowledges the CEO of this Catalan toy company, Albert Ventura, which is clear that the supply crisis has dealt them a much harder blow than the pandemic per se.

Despite this, the company does not lower expectations. The organization is counting on its star product, the ‘Crying Babies’, to be for the third consecutive year the best-selling Christmas doll, also with closing 2021 with a sales volume equivalent to 160 million euros (17% more) and improve the figure even more for the following year, when they expect to reach 200 million. The toymaker also foresees that of these 40 million more between one year and another, more than half come from the North American market.

His landing in the United States is, in fact, one of the factors that explains the growth of the company. IMC Toys it had a turnover of between seven and eight million euros twenty years ago, when he decided to go beyond the distribution of toys such as Nikko cars or the Meccano parts set and start manufacturing his own proposals in China. Two decades later, the year the pandemic struck, it entered about 136 million. But, in reality, the success of the arrival in the United States and the unstoppable rise of this company based in Terrassa is fundamentally explained by the ‘Crying Babies’, the toy company’s star product, which already has its own series.

Innovation strategy

“At the beginning we started manufacturing products with Disney movie licenses, but now for a few years, back in 2016, all this was going down and we started to create our own products with our own series& rdquor;, recalls Ventura. They started with a short series that they launched on YouTube, Kitoons, whose seasons now have 20 chapters each and are even broadcast on television. “Paradoxically & rdquor ;, for example, says the president of the toy company, on the Disney Channel.

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In fact, among all its YouTube channels (similar content but in up to almost twenty languages), the firm has seven million subscribers and 4,500 million views. In addition, all this commitment to the audiovisual world has led to the creation of a Netflix-style content platform where you can watch the different IMC Toys series and that even works as electronic commerce if you want to buy one of the dolls that appears in she.

“There is a clear correlation between the growth of sales and the use of the series: communication with children used to be doing a TV campaign with ads, now if you have a series that supports you, it helps you grow a lot & rdquor ;, he reasons. Fortune. “In the toys sector, you have to constantly innovate, see what children want and sometimes you are right and sometimes you are not & rdquor;” he concludes.

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