Felipe Noriega talks to Mojo Nation - YuMe Toys

Felipe Noriega talks to Mojo Nation

1. Hey Felipe, it’s great to tie-in. How has 2023 been for YuMe?

As you know, 2023 was tough for the toy industry, but we planned ahead. Last year, we set our 2023 product line to fit the expected challenging economic environment. We kept most products under €15, focused on trending brands, and maintained top quality. This strategy led to significant sales and wider distribution.


2. Product-wise, what have been some of the key highlights?

YuMe’s Disney 100 Surprise Capsules were a hit globally, establishing us as experts in original unboxing features. Series 1 sold out fast during the first semester of 2023, and we expect the same for Series 2 during the holiday season. Our Jujutsu Kaisen range, all priced under €15, broke the price entry barrier traditionally erected by classic anime-themed statues. We achieved mass appeal with surprise capsules, bobbleheads, and squishies.


3. How key is innovation to YuMe? And how does the company foster and cultivate a creative culture that fuels innovation?

In a crowded market, YuMe focuses on innovative products, turning ordinary items like advent calendars and plush toys into unique experiences. Creativity and technical expertise from our teams ‘’Yumefies’’ our toys and brings extra enjoyment to consumers, making innovation the hallmark of a YuMe Toys product.


4. What makes a brand right for YuMe Toys? What appeals?

A substantial fan base is a must. We're not afraid to bet on brands we predict will succeed in the near future, though. Our speed to market allows us to develop and launch products faster than larger toy companies, capturing trends as they rise.


5. You’re launching a DTR / D2C offering soon! Why is the now the right time for this?

After five years in the market, YuMe Toys has gained enough expertise and traction. With quality products and strong social media interaction, we believe it's the right time for DTR and D2C offerings. Our sales organization is also ready for this more complex setup.


6. Does going direct to retailers and consumers change any aspect of what sorts of toys the team is designing – or the brands you’ll look to work with

Going direct to consumers affords us higher margins, which opens up possibilities for more complex, high-quality designs comprising premium materials and components.


7. Looking ahead to 2024, what are some of your key goals? What should we keep an eye out for?

In 2024 we are doubling the number of SKUs in our portfolio with respect to 2023. Obviously, we are forecasting explosive growth off the back of this product expansion.  Like we did in 2023 with Disney, we're celebrating another fan-favourite anniversary with a new Hello Kitty range for her 50th birthday. Our Squid Game range aims to satisfy fans with original collectibles. Additionally, we're excited to offer a unique product in 2024: a premium item featuring eight of Netflix’s all-time most-watched programs and movies. Stay tuned!

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