The largest distributor of children’s toys in the Philippines, Richprime Global Inc., says that sales of traditional toys has slowed down, due to the rise in popularity of electronic gadgets.
Speaking with reporters at the company’s official launch as the operating unit of Richwell Trading Corp, Richprime president and CEO, Myrna T. Yao said that the company sales growth is now at a rate of 15-20 percent per annum, as against 20-25 percent three years ago.
“Our growth has slowed down, but we are still growing between 15 to 20 percent in sales,” Yao said.
Yao clarified, however, that there is still a demand for traditional toys, noting that it is necessary for the company to keep these in the consciousness of the children and their parents.
“There’s still demand for traditional toys but if we don’t keep on introducing, the parents and children tend to veer away from it.”
“Gadgets just tire their eyes and mind becomes dependent on it, but toys is where creativity starts. With gadgets they get so engrossed they don’t think anymore so parents should get good toys and educational toys,” she added, pointing out that peer pressure has a lot to do with the demand for electronic gadgets.
Still, despite the slowdown in toy sales, the Philippines remains the largest market for toys in the Southeast Asian region.
“We could have grown more had we not been slowed down by the electronics gadgets although we are still growing at double-digit and we are still fine. In fact, we’re doing better than other countries which are growing at single digit. We are the biggest in southeast Asia for Barbie,” Yao said.
As a step toward continued growth, Yao revealed that the company will be bringing in new toys to the market, “because we believe that every child deserves a happy childhood,” she said.
Richprime managing director, Ana Melissa Yao detailed that among the new brands the company is looking to distribute locally are Boom Co, which are blasters, of Mattel; Tobots, a Korean brand of building blocks that has outperformed Lego in some markets; and the Masked Rider toys from Bandai and Thomas and Friends.
“Our biggest hit this year are Frozen and Ninja Turtles,” Ana Melissa added.