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Products in dolls

Wholesale Dolls

Dolls have always been popular but the release of the Barbie movie in 2023 made them an even bigger hit.

Earning over $1.36 billion at the global box office, this movie didn’t just fill theater seats but it also sparked a sales boom in the dolls market.

Now the global dolls and stuffed toys market is buzzing with a worth of $21.44 billion in 2023. The US is on top, making $6.37 billion in the same year, and this is expected to grow 4.13% by 2028.

For retailers looking to flourish in this market, the opportunity is ripe.

By selling a mix of trendy and classic dolls, you can attract more customers and generate decent profits.

Trendy Doll Types

Totally Hair Barbie

According to the Guinness World Records, the “Totally Hair” Barbie is Mattel’s best-selling doll to date.

Its popularity among kids is due to its ankle-length crimped hair that provides endless hairstyling options.

Also, Totally Hair Barbie is a great gift for girls on various occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, etc., which further increases its demand.

So, stock this doll as it’s likely to sell more in your store.

Plush Dolls

Plush and stuffed toys are highly popular, holding a global toy market share of 7-12%.

According to Global Newswire , this market stood at $8.3 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $13.6 billion by 2030.

A big part of this trend is plush dolls, especially those inspired by characters in TV, movies, and books.

They are soft, cuddly, and loved by both kids and adults for play and comfort.

So, for wholesale and retail store owners, plush dolls are a good item to sell.

Muslim Dolls and Toys

Muslim dolls are gaining traction as they fit well with Islamic traditions.

Take, for example, the Salam Sisters collection, featuring five culturally diverse dolls with rearrangeable hijabs and under-caps.

It is exclusively designed to inspire young Muslim girls.

Now, if we talk about American Muslims, most of them are living in New York, New Jersey, Texas, and California.

This means these dolls present a unique sales opportunity, especially in regions with large Muslim populations.

Apart from selling trendy dolls of renowned brands, you can consider white or private labeling to sell dolls under your own brand name. 

For instance, with the Barbie movie hype, customizing and selling your own Barbie dolls could be a good move. 

Here’s why: Barbie already has a strong fan base, and the movie has boosted its popularity. 

By offering customized doll versions, you can benefit from the trust and recognition associated with the Barbie name. This existing appeal can help draw customers to your products, even if your brand is new or less known to them.

Here's a simple explanation of the two branding methods:

White Labeling

You buy a pre-made and generic doll and label it with your brand name. It's cheaper and not unique but the competition will be high as many retailers might sell similar dolls.

Private Labeling

When it comes to private labeling, you find a manufacturer who can customize the doll to your specifications like material, hair color, design, etc.

The product is then packaged and labeled with your brand name. This process is somehow costly but it gives you an exclusive doll collection to sell.

Now, if you’re a newbie in this doll market, here are a few tips to consider that will help both (a wholesaler and retailer) to start and grow their business.

Few Tips For Newbies In The Doll Industry

Find a Manufacturer

Once you know what to stock, the next step is to find a manufacturer. Here’s how you can do it:

Check online directories

  • Explore wholesale marketplaces
  • Attend trade shows
  • Ask for referrals
  • Join professional networks

Find Region / Local Audience

For the doll niche, your target audience is mainly children ranging from 5-12 years old.

When starting a retail business, you should find a region where these kids and their parents/guardians mostly come to buy.

Consider opening an outlet in a busy area or any shopping mall.

For wholesale, find a location that is cheap and spacious for storing your inventory.

Go Digital

Whether you deal in wholesale or retail, you should digitalize your business to enhance brand visibility and make your products accessible to customers 24/7.

You can do this by creating an online store, joining online marketplaces or directories, leveraging the power of social media, etc.

If you don't plan to source products from the US, looking overseas can be a viable alternative. Let’s get to that!

Importing Dolls Can Increase Your Profit Margin

The cost of making toys, dolls, and games is very high in the US, leading to a 2.6% yearly drop in manufacturing revenue from 2018 to 2023.

To meet domestic demand during this time period, dolls were imported from countries where they're cheaper to make.

China, supplying 85% of US toys, sells them at lower prices due to lower wages and easy access to the materials needed.

So, by sourcing dolls from places like China, you can sell them for more here in the US and make a good profit on each sale.

Now that we've looked at how importing can help with costs, let's dive into a common challenge in the doll industry and how to tackle it.

Challenge in the Doll Industry and Its Solution

Due to inflation, the shift in spending habits can make sales hard to predict for business owners.

This uncertainty can mean not knowing accurately which dolls will sell well and in what quantities, leading to either running out of stock (missed sales) or having too much stock (higher holding costs).

Solution: If you’ve been in the toy business for some time, you probably will have some past sales data. Check that out to predict demand and future sales.

In case you’re fairly new, do thorough market research to identify popular items, start with a small stock, monitor sales, and adjust orders based on what's selling well.

Note: Watch out for market trends as failing to recognize or respond to them timely can result in lost revenue.