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Toy Wonders: Titans of Toys

Feb 1, 2008

Toy Wonders, the family owned and operated company, began in Taiwan four generations ago as a toy exporting business. In the 1970's and 80's, dealing in toys was a sellers' market. Since then it has become a buyers market. "During the 70's the current President of Toy Wonders, Samuel Su, realized the buying potential of the US market," said Lu Su, VP, Sales and Marketing. "He came to this country to serve as an agent, and started an import and distribution operation," added Su.

Toy Wonders, as it is known today, was launched in 1983 and is headquartered in Moonachie, NJ. The company imports mostly from China and exports to Canada, South and Central America, Caribbean Islands, Europe and Australia. Since its inception, inventory levels, the number of sku's and sales volume have soared, along with the infrastructure to support this growth.

The company prides itself on marketing toys not typically carried by mass merchandisers. Many of the toys sold by Toy Wonders require demonstration. "Mass merchandisers have great difficulty in demonstrating toys," said Su. Toy Wonders' customer base is primarily comprised of mom and pop shops, hobby and chain stores. "We sell some mass merchandisers, but are careful to select the ones that need our expertise in product selection. Sellers like to sell mass because of the quantities that they use, but the unattractive side is that mass will often kill a product quickly. They can fill demand quickly, and cause the prices of their products to be so low, that it becomes unmarketable to other types of distribution."

Toy Wonders' top five best selling categories are diecast collector model cars, radio control cars, educational toys, ride-on vehicles, and blister carded/impulse types of toys. Toy Wonders' depth and breadth of product, in the line of goods that it markets, separates the company from its competition. "We realize that our customers need to compete with the big box stores, who sell products at very low prices. Because we cannot compete on price, we attempt to compete on selection and availability," said Su. The company has a $200.00 minimum that can include any mix of toys. Toy Wonders offers custom imprinting services on products marketed.

"Case in point: if you walk into a Wal-Mart or Target and want to purchase a diecast collection model car from the manufacturer, Jada Toys, you will typically find an eight foot section of their product line, offering approximately 15 sku's from this manufacturer. The diecast model car industry is a very specific industry. The typical buyer wants a certain car, in a particular size, in a select year, and in a chosen color. We currently offer over 500 different sku's from this manufacturer," said Su.

The philosophy of Toy Wonders is to stay focused on toys and use gifts and novelties to boost sales when the opportunity arises. According to Su, "Because products now have far shorter life cycles, we are even more determined to stay focused on toys that have longer life cycles. Longer life cycles translate into a longer lasting play and shelf value."

Gifts and novelties represent less than two percent of Toy Wonders' business. "When the opportunity presents itself, and after a careful study of the market and manufacturers' production capacity, we will sometimes get on the bandwagon. Some novelties that we have carried in the past include virtual pets, high performance yoyo's, aluminum scooters, singing gorilla and fish, puffer balls, water ball yoyo's and talking pens," said Su.

Toy Wonders thrives on repeat business. "You would be surprised by the number of people who contact us because we actually have a phone number and human beings answering the phone," said Su. "We're focused on stocking products, supplying what is ordered and shipping it out fast," added Su.

Years of experience have provided the company with knowledge on which toys sell and which toy manufacturers to seek out. Because Toy Wonders stands behind the quality of their entire product line, they have found it necessary to form a quality control team to safeguard the company's quality standards. These standards have been achieved by developing a safety standard in conjunction with the guidelines set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food & Drug Administration. "If you are in the toy industry, you know the importance of quality control. I believe what has driven many import/distributors out of business was their lack of attention to quality control, as America continues to want less expensive products," said Su.

Toy Wonders started selling on the Internet in 1996. Its address was www.wholesalecentral.com/toywonders. "Toy Wonders was one of the first toy companies to sign on with WholesaleCentral.com. WholesaleCentral.com has been instrumental in bringing us quality traffic/customers," said Su. Prior to WholesaleCentral.com, the company did business through traditional means, which included catalogs, showrooms, and sales reps. In June of 2006, Toy Wonders moved from a shared server environment on WholesaleCentral.com to a dedicated server at www.toywonders.com. The design of the website is simple and practical. "It's simple to navigate and the search box is a powerful feature in narrowing down what you are looking for," said Su.

Toy Wonders, the 25 year old business to business toy giant, typically carries a vast inventory of 3,800 to 4,000 sku's during the months leading into the busy, toy driven fourth quarter.

When asked about Toy Wonders' future plans, Su offered, "The toy industry is evolving. The toy industry, as well as many other industries, is morphing into something new, or at least different. Our goal is not to get run over during this whole process, and at the same time find what role we can play in the future."

For more information:

Toy Wonders, Inc.
234 Moonachie Road
Moonachie, NJ 07074
Tel.: 201-229-1700
Website: www.toywonders.com

Topic: Company Profiles

Related Articles: toys 

Article ID: 524

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