The holiday shopping season is just around the corner, which should have investors analyzing toy companies again, looking for plays that should reap rewards in the fourth quarter and going forward. While there are many toy and doll manufacturers globally, there are very few that command a sizeable market share in an industry that Euromonitor International valued at $85.8 billion in 2012. To put a finer point to the market available, two of the largest players, Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) and Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) combined for 2012 revenue of $10.51 billion, representing only about 12 percent of the market. JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ: JAKK) has been losing ground compared to its bigger rivals, with revenue sinking to $666.76 million in 2012, down for the fifth straight year.
Explaining why Jakks can't capture market from Mattel and Hasbro, Ascendiant Capital Markets senior research analyst Edward M. Woo told the LA Times, "A lot of it has to do with the fact that they are just not making the right toys. [Mattel and Hasbro] have better toys; there is no other way to say it."
By making the right toys and marketing to the right audience, there is market share available and even created. That's the business model that doll maker One World Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: OWOO) is employing with its subsidiary, The One World Doll Project in targeting what some may initially consider a "niche" market. However, a closer look unveils the massive size of a relatively untapped market.
The company is releasing a new product, branded The Prettie Girls! Dolls, that includes a unique line of multi-cultural dolls that mirror the shapes, colors and physical characteristics of different ethnic groups, with each doll having a unique set of personality traits and real-world aspirations. The company is also releasing a limited series collector's dolls.
The collector dolls are set to roll out with pre-sales now being accepted for The Cynthia Bailey doll (of Real Housewives of Atlanta fame) and hand-signed Cynthia Bailey Signature Edition doll. Two other dolls in the Prettie Girls! line, Lena (African-American) and Valencia (Hispanic), will be going on sale on Black Friday, to kick-off the holiday shopping season.
As with any start-up, One World faces a series of operational challenges, but their novel approach and experienced team have already helped the company clear some hurdles. With industry experts and entrepreneurs like Trent T. Daniel and Stacey McBride-Irby at the helm, One World was the first minority-owned toy company to go public and they have successfully raised over $2 million to fund the launch of the doll line. These challenges and accomplishments are detailed in a research report by Murphy Analytics. The analyst firm initiated coverage on One World in September at a price of $0.0024, writing, "that OWOO has the potential to reach revenue and earnings run rates that may justify a price of over $0.02 and over $0.06 over the coming quarters and years…" Interested parties are encouraged to read the complete report.
Learn more and access Murphy Analytics coverage here:http://www.tdmfinancial.com/emailassets/owoo/owoo_landing.php
We spoke with One World founder Trent T. Daniel to discuss the doll business, market potential and specific One World approach. He told us that, to a certain degree, they're not doing anything new; they're just doing it differently and support of the concept has been tremendous to date.
In short, what One World is doing is initially marketing to minority consumers. That's not to say that they do not have a Caucasian doll in the collection, they do (named Alexie), but the focus is on an area wrought with stereotypes that has made majors shy away and created a large void in the doll space: minorities. Maybe the area is viewed as a bit too edgy or controversial for companies like Mattel or Hasbro, but the fact remains that minorities make up a large population of the melting pot of America and that's a sweet spot for marketing. In fact, census figures show that 50.4 percent of births in the U.S. in the twelve-month period ended July 2011 were minorities. In the 2010 census, minorities represented 36.6 percent of the total U.S. population, or 114.1 million people.
Stacey McBride-Irby, Co-Founder and Chief Product Development Officer at One World, knows the business and is well aware that it was an avenue that Mattel chose not to go down with marketing. Ms. McBride-Irby spent 15 years designing Barbie at Mattel and lead the team for the "So in Style" line, Mattel's first foray into an African-American doll collection to try and more closely resemble the facial and body features of African-American girls.
It's not just children that will be interested in the dolls. As the Murphy Analytics report notes, Ms. McBride-Irby was approached in 2008 by the African-American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha to create a centennial doll. 50,000 units were produced and sold-out in less than six months at a price of $49.99 each. Although that wasn't for One World, $2.5 million in sales from one organization efficiently demonstrates market potential in what should be considered a true niche. The company says that they utilizing their direct relationships and is in discussions with other organizations of this type as well.
It's certainly presumable that parents and children in minority communities want dolls that look more as they do. Giving the dolls distinct appearances and real-world personalities (e.g. they aren't just "living"millionaire lifestyles, replicas from movies or monsters) also seems to be prescient moves that will translate into sales for One World. The celebrity market for One World should get a nice jump-start in its infancy with Cynthia Bailey, who is promoting the doll in appearances, social media, etc. in exchange for royalties. Bern Nadette Stanis, made famous for her role as "Thelma Evans" on the 70's hit show "Good Times" is a friend of the company and scheduled to have a doll created in her likeness as a smart and sassy girl from the projects. It's impossible to predict where the company will go next, but there are plenty of iconic and current minority stars that would fit the mold for dolls that should receive broad acceptance.
Given the strategies and the facts behind the population, it is safe to say that One World's target demographic is anything but niche. Another thing that is not small about One World is its potential, which investors will be watching closely this holiday season.Learn more and sign up to follow One World Holdings, Inc. (OWOO) here:
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