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"Our work in the US market will allow us to double our production in Mexico"

Fernando del Río, General Director for Mexico and Latin America, Famosa


Fernando del Río is the General Director in Mexico of the toymaker Famosa, which opened its factory in Monterrey in 2010, with the aim of entering the Latin American and the US markets. Following the opening of offices in the US in 2011 and as explained by Del Río, Famosa expects to double the production of its Mexican factory.

Which are the best performing categories in the Mexican toy market?

The Mexican toy market closed 2011 with an overall growth of 5%. Dolls, board games, tricycles and balls are basically the most important categories.

Electronic toys have also grown exponentially, and we can say that this kind of toys have created a specific niche that will coexist with the traditional toy, creating new business opportunities.

In Mexico we do not have data from the NPD and we get the information from Amiju, the Mexican Association of Toy Industries.

Amiju brings together 75 companies, among which are multinationals, plus another 120 family workshops. It should be noted that Mexico has become the third largest exporter of toys.

Is the Famosa factory in Mexico also used to export to the rest of America and the US?
The company opened its Mexico operations directly in 2010, with a factory in Monterrey for the outdoor products of the Feber brand. In addition, we opened operations in New Jersey last year and in 2012 we started to export product, reaching agreements for example with Toys 'R' Us for our Ferrari car. Our work in the US market will allow us to double our production in Mexico.

What do Mexican consumers take into account when purchasing toys?
The priority of consumers consumer is safety and price, but quality and design also play an important role in the purchasing decision. In Famosa we work to meet the standards of safety and quality, and we also offer competitive prices for our brands.

Which are the main toy buying moments throughout the year?
Mexican consumers buy toys especially for Christmas and the Three Kings (January 6), the most important season for the industry. It also depends on the geographical area: in the north of the country, Christmas is more important, while in the center and south, most toys are sold for the Three Kings. About 70% of toys sold at this period.

Children's Day, which in Mexico is in April 30, has become increasingly relevant. And for Famosa, Easter and summer have also become an additional period for the sale of toys, especially for our outdoor products.

What are the main challenges for the Mexican toy market?
The seasonality of sales on Christmas and the Three Kings day. The industry is making efforts to create moments of purchase throughout the yeat, especially for birthdays and the Children's Day, and we are starting to see results.

How is the toy retailer industry in Mexico?
The retail market is dominated by large chains such as Walmart, or national chains such as Soriana, Comercial Mexicana and Chedraui, especially during the Christmas season, as they open toy areas, generating more traffic that can capture significant sales volume, thanks to major campaigns to attract consumers.

Specialists have instead a great importance throughout the year, because of the variety and availability of product.

Online sales are also beginning to gain importance. Internet sales in Mexico are mostly done in the tourism, electronics and apparel industries, but the toy sector is growing, although these online sales are not yet playing an important role for the industry.

How do you see the Mexican toy market in the coming years?
Toys are a product that will always be relevant for children's development, given their educational value and its influence on communication, motor skills and socialization of children, among other skills, so we believe this product will continue to grow, despite trends and fads.

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