In what could be good news for the emoticon fans, Smiley Company has inked an exclusive licensee agreement with Ultra Toys, as per a report in the Economic Times. As per the agreement, Ultra Toys will make and sell over toys and accessories of the popular emoticons and emojis in India.
The emojis including sly smile, poo has already a global presence on social media.
The prices of the products will range from Rs 199 to Rs 999 per piece, will be made in its unit at Noida, that has a production capacity of 20,000 products a month.
As one of the top 100 licensing companies in the world, Smiley has over 300 licensees globally which sold over USD 400 million worth of products across categories.
The Smiley Company maker, which is known for nearly 1,000 emojis and smileys sees India as a market with immense potential.
In an interview with The Hindu, Loufrani told the company is seeking new partners for collaborations as India is at top of his priorities.
“Smiley as a product is widely accepted and has no age or social barrier. There is a huge pirated market for the brand which shows that there is a strong demand but is met by counterfeit manufacturers,” Madhu Kishore, business head at Ultra Toys was quoted as saying from Economic Times.
The company plans to launch nearly three dozen products in the first phase.
Ultra-Toys, a division of Ultra Media & Entertainment has acquired about 3000 varieties of smiley emoticons to manufacture and retail products.
Smiley World, founded by French journalist Franklin Loufrani more than 25 years ago, has built a business from royalties collected on a symbol they trademarked in over 100 countries, for use over a wide range of product categories.
The toy market is estimated at Rs 2 lakh crore globally. The China market, which acts as a dominant, sells close to Rs 1.4 lakh crore worth of merchandise. In comparison, the Indian toy segment is about Rs 4500 crore.