Unperturbed by the issues of piracy and toxic toys, Mattel Toys has been doing well and all its products are a craze among the kids. The company recently launched its WWE action figures and accessories in India. Neha Malhotra interacted with Rahul Bhowmik, Head Marketing, Mattel Toys India Ltd, to dig out details about the brands journey and strategies.
Neha Malhotra (NM): Tell us about the initiative taken by Mattel Toys India to launch WWE star figures and accessories in India.
Rahul Bhowmik (RB): WWE is quite popular across India, and enjoys a huge fan following across the country. The wwe.com website sees significant traffic from India, and Mattel is very excited to make available the WWE entertainment brand to young Indian fans. Mattel offers about 20 different WWE characters, like John Cena, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio and Great Khali. The company has made available the products keeping in mind both kids and collectors. The price ranges from Rs 699 to Rs1299. It also offers WWE championship belts and WWE breakdown Brawl ring.
NM: Can you brief us about the inception and growth of Mattel Toys?
RB: Mattel Toys (India) Pvt. Ltd is a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., that designs, manufactures and markets toys and family products, worldwide. In India, the Mattel family includes Barbie, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and Scrabble besides Fisher-Price brands, including a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Mattel's vision is to be the world's premier toy brands--today and tomorrow. In India, the company has a strong presence in the branded toys market and is committed to delivering superior quality and safe toy products with high play value.
NM: What is the current size of the toy industry in India?
RB: There are no audited research results and data available to understand the exact size of the toy market in India but most estimated range is between Rs1200 cr to Rs 1500 cr.
NM: What marketing initiatives have you taken to entice kids--- your target audience?
RB: We create awareness and demand among our customers through a combination of ATL (TV, Print and other media) and BTL (instore, on-ground promotions and consumer engagement programs) activities. We believe that both ATL and BTL promotions are extremely significant. While ATL promotions attract customers to the brand and ultimately to the store, BTL programs aid in final conversion. Instore presence and face-to-face interaction with kids and shoppers play a major role in the decision-making process.
NM: Through what channels do you retail your toys in India?
RB: Mattel’s products are available at all leading toy stores across the country, including both organised retail and scattered trade.
NM: Are these toys manufactured in India?
RB: Mattel manufactures products out of its plants in South-East Asia, Mexico and China.
NM: The issue of toxic toys is prevalent in the industry. What measures have you taken to ensure that all Mattel toys are safe?
RB: First and foremost, Mattel does not put a price tag on safety. We have earned the trust of consumers for more than 75 years with our high standards, and by investing in doing the right thing in an open and honest way. We constantly work to improve the design and manufacture of our toys. We hope that other toy companies will follow our example.
NM: How has been the period after recession for Mattel Toys?
RB: We have many big launches this year such as Barbie Fashionistas, H2O Doll for girls, I Can Be, WWE, Hot Wheels Colour Shifters, Toy Story, and Trick Tracks for boys and many more.
NM: What do you think is the future of toy retailing?
RB: As of now, all indicators seem poised for growth.
NM: What are your future plans?
RB: Due to confidentiality concerns I will not be able to reveal anything regarding this.