South Korea

The Republic of Korea has an area of 100,295 km². The largest share of the population - 51.2 million - lives in the greater Seoul region, the province of Gyeonggi and the city of Incheon. Population growth is very low, and the average age of Koreans is 41.8 years. As a trend and innovation driver, South Korea is relevant for many economic sectors, including the toy market.

Economy and consumerism in South Korea

South Korea has the world’s eleventh-largest economy. Its GDP totalled US$ 1,530 billion with an average increase of 3 %. The Republic of Koreacan even show for a significant increase in exports and imports. The Republic of Korea is the sixth-largest export country at US$ 552.3 billion, and the ninth-largest importer at US$ 448.4 billion.

South Korea has one of the highest levels of wages in Asia. This influences people’s purchasing power. Brand products are popular and trending. They epitomise quality, a perfect look and prestige. South Korea’s consumers are willing to pay for this, but they are also very demanding when it comes to branded items. Overall, consumer expenditure has increased over the past years. Online shopping especially is highly popular amongst South Koreans.

Toy market in South Korea

South Korea’s toy market records a positive growth rate. The increase in growth is due to three developments: the average price per toy has increased; per-child spending has grown; and consumer groups have expanded following an increase in adult consumers.

Popular toys in the Republic of Korea

The demand for traditional toys, especially for boys, is growing. Action figures and accessories, vehicles and remote-controlled toys are in demand. These product groups will remain a priority even in the future. Additionally, licenced products are especially popular in the traditional toys segment. Domestic toy producers benefit from South Korean movies and TV series. Because South Koreans are willing to spend very high amounts on education, sales for educational toys and games have risen simultaneously. And also construction toys are forecast to experience a growth in sales. This product group is particularly popular with adult consumers. Young adults and young parents are interested in discerning toys and games. In the Republic of Korea, it is therefore important to offer toys to all age groups.

Brick-and-mortar trade vs. online trade

The largest share of toys is distributed through the brick-and-mortar retail trade. Still, the shift towards e-tailing is growing. To enter the South Korean market, the options provided by online advertising, and here in particular by advertising on YouTube, should be taken into consideration. Both young as well as more mature Koreans are very active on social media platforms.