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Russian Toy Market
August 22, 2007 17:43

Traditional Dymkovskaya Toy

The recent scandalous story about poisonous Chinese toys has made Russian officials think of the domestic toy market and inspect all goods produced in China and intended for children. At the same time the current situation may be used to show what part of the Russian toy market is controlled by domestic manufacturers. The results are poor: only 12% of the market is given to toys produced inland.

Chinese toys have fallen into disgrace and will hardly be popular with Russian customers, at least for some months. The chief competitor on the Russian toy market is losing its positions and recedes, while Russian manufacturers have a nice chance to regain control over numerous toy shops. However, the toy market is not supported by the government; therefore the process may take several years.

 Generally, toy production is one of the national priorities in many countries, since toys are admitted to play a great role in personality formation and professional self-determination. Another matter is that quality standards depend on a country and what is normal for Chinese people seems illegal in Russia. As a result, products certified in a manufacturing country don’t meet the requirements of Russian sanitation-and-epidemiological services. Thus, it may be said that only home-produced toys can guarantee your child’s safety.

Each toy produced in Russia undergoes a medico-psychological examination aimed at defining the reaction a child may have to a new toy. The experts are sure that toy must be kind and not arouse aggression. Thus, the quality of Russian toys is said to be high, but the quantity is not satisfying. Most stores of big retail networks prefer to work with manufacturers able to provide a wide range of their goods and grant a deferment of repayment. There are not many domestic manufacturers who can afford to run their business under such conditions. There are about 200 toy-makers in Russia, but only 10% of them can be called big manufacturers. 65% are medium and small-scale business, the rest 25% are so small that have no chance to see their goods in a hypermarket one day. And all this despite their high quality and cheap price.

 The most widely represented toys on the market are teddy bears, dolls and small plastic cars from Asian countries, though European manufactures control about 12% of the market. China is the leading supplier, but Taiwan, Thailand and Honk Kong are fighting for the top position. The Indian government has approved a national program to develop the toy industry and promises that soon Indian toys will be sold abroad in great numbers.

Russia could do the same, but, unfortunately, its national programs don’t consider the toy market to be priority-oriented. Besides, the country feels a lack of efficient specialists in this sphere. The only institute of the toy is closed down. There is the last college of the toy in Sergiev Posad, which is certainly not enough.

Meanwhile, Russian toy manufacturers take part in international toy exhibitions and their production is very popular in foreign countries, which means they simply need an extra impulse to revive the industry.



Olga Pletneva

Tags: Russian business Russian trade    

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