NEW DELHI: It’s official: Indian toys have turned the corner, challenging the Chinese monopoly in overseas markets. The demand for Indian traditional, theme and mythology-based toys have grown in foreign markets, manufacturers say.
According to official data, the import of Indian toys has plummeted by more than 70% in the last three years. The export of Indian toys has surged to an extent where they can beat the Chinese plush toys.
In 2018-19, India’s toy import was worth $ 371 million, which drastically came down to $110 million in 2021-22, registering a big drop of over 70.35%. India’s export of toys from across the country has surged by 61.38% over the last three years.
Sharad Kapoor, general secretary of Toys Association of India, said: “During 2018-19, India’s toy exports stood at $202 million, which is now up at 326 million. It shows how Indian toys are making their homes abroad among children.”
He said the response of international toys manufacturers towards Indian products was greater than ever at the recently concluded Toys International B2B Exhibition in Delhi. He said the demand for made-in-India toys has increased in the US, Bhutan, the UAE, Spain and many other European countries, especially after the outbreak of Covid pandemic, which is suspected to have originated from China’s Wuhan.
“Customers are avoiding buying Chinese toys on safety grounds after the Pandemic outbreak,” said Kapoor.
Kapoor and other toy manufacturers say the government has provided 100-acre land near the new Jewar Airport in Noida for setting up clusters of toy manufacturing units. “The land will be handed over to us in the next few months for as many as 130 toy manufacturing clusters”, Kapoor said, adding that six clusters in different states, including Karnataka, are also being developed for toys.
Demand for Mythology-based toys up
India’s traditional toys include the ‘lattu’ (spinning top), the bhatukali (kitchen set toys for growing girls on kitchen and home management), the traditional pachisi, ludo, baby dolls, and wildlife-based toys. The demand for mythology-based toys of kings and gods and goddesses, the Channapatna and Kondapalli toys and the Natungram dolls have multiplied in the last few years in many countries, manufacturers said.