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Aurora World's Success With Character Toys

Yoohoo the Bush Baby Monkey, Pammee the Fennec Fox, Roodee the Capuchin Monkey, Chewoo the Red Squirrel, and Lemmee the Lemur Monkey. They are the main characters from the animation show, “Yoohoo & Friends” in Korea.

Press Release from Aurora World

Yoohoo the Bush Baby Monkey, Pammee the Fennec Fox, Roodee the Capuchin Monkey, Chewoo the Red Squirrel, and Lemmee the Lemur Monkey. They are the main characters from the animation show, “Yoohoo & Friends” in Korea. The characters are species at risk of extinction and take a journey together to find new friends in other continents. The show is designed to teach children about environmental protection and preservation.

Yoohoo & Friends, the first animation created by Aurora World, clearly shows how far the company has come. For 28 years, Aurora World has been developing characters and manufacturing toys as transforming itself from OEM to OBM in 1991. Not only has Aurora World focused on improving its design and quality but also increasing its brand awareness. The efforts ultimately paid off and now the company is ranked as a top-tier toy company in North America and Europe.

A main product of Aurora World is without a doubt character toys. Usually in this industry, companies keep introducing new toys in order to overcome a relatively short product life cycle of 5 years. However, Aurora World broke out of this pattern with the faith that characters with compelling stories  attached will outlive others. Such characters can expand beyond the toy market and be repackaged for other industries.

Yoohoo and Friends is the case in point. At first the characters were developed for toys three years ago then expanded to animation. The show got picked up by Al Jazeera and other TV networks and is scheduled to air in the near future. Aurora World is also putting a serious effort on localization. The company customizes characters and even creates one for each country to their likings.

Aurora World also developed an eco-friendly product line to diversify its product offerings. This move reflects on current issues such as toy safety and carbon footprint reduction.

Aurora World is synonymous with a high quality character brand. To maintain its image, the company deployed different branding strategies as launching its top-of-the-range Aurora Classic and Aurora Baby as opposed to its middle-end under a different brand name targeting at mega discount stores or theme parks.

This year Aurora World entered the online gaming publishing business in order to expand its horizons yet again. The company invested 3,000,000,000 Won (US$ 2.3 million) on securing game titles such as Mix Master. It will be synergized with its existing licensing and merchandizing businesses, global networks, and animation contents.

Aurora World is well-know outside of Korea. Only 5% of its total revenue comes from the domestic market while 95% comes from all over the world; specifically 50% from U.S.A and 30% from U.K. The company took the third place in global toy brand ranking. Also, it was declared as a hidden gem by a renowned business scholar.

The company has factories in China and Indonesia and subsidiaries in U.S.A. and U.K. The subsidiaries are completely localized so that it can serve the market needs properly. Aurora World hosts a quarterly global product development meeting at its headquarter in Korea. Senior designers from braches all over the world are called to the meeting and share their ideas. Also design research centers in U.S.A., U.K., Hong Kong and Japan analyze the current market trends while design development centers in China and Indonesia develop new design patterns and new materials. The seamless collaboration translates into products that fit specifically into local markets. Design-related personnel accounts for 40% of total employees and more than 50,000 products are produced each year with 60 in-house characters.

Aurora World actively participates in trade shows from Hong Kong Toy Fair to MACEF in Italy to Maison & Objet in Paris.

“I wouldn’t start something if that is not going to help our main character toy business. We want to be the best of the best character toy company,” said Ki Sun Hong, CEO of Aurora World.