Toy market Japan

The Japanese toy market

The Japanese prefer to buy toys in toyshops, in shopping centres and in suburban stores. Internet mail order is also popular. Toys are bought mostly by mothers and grandmothers in Japan. The father’s role decreases the older the child becomes. Grandfathers also tend to rarely buy toys for their grandchildren.

More than 80 per cent of customers focus on product safety when buying a toy. Besides the price, other buying criteria include promoting the child’s mental and educational development.

Toys from international manufacturers are popular in Japan. Chinese imports lead the field when it comes to inexpensive toys. Western suppliers are also represented and enjoy an excellent reputation despite higher prices.

The toy industry in Japan is heavily dependent on TV. Product launches are also more important than in many other countries, but due to the crisis in 2011 fewer new toys are being announced at present.

Impact of the crisis

The Japanese consumer market has suffered considerably since the natural catastrophe in 2011. The toy industry also had to register large losses. Many toyshops were either damaged or destroyed. Even today, some retailers are still fighting to survive. Nevertheless, the Japanese toy industry donated a large part of their products to support the children affected by the catastrophe.