Several popular Japanese kidult toy brands catering to adult consumers are set to open their first stores in South Korea.
According to Hyundai I-Park Mall, the renovated kidult select shop Toys & Hobby at its Yongsan location will reopen tomorrow with some of the most representative Japanese toy brands including Tamashii Nations, Animate, Nintendo, and Good Smile Company.
Tamashii Nations is a high-end line from famous toy brand Bandai, which produces action figures modeled after well-known characters from anime series such as Gundam, Dragon Ball, and Doraemon.
Most of the items sold by Tamashii Nations are known for being limited editions, and many of the high-end models including super alloy collectible action figures have been sold out in the past, signaling noteworthy support from a devoted anime fan base in South Korea.
In the past, South Korean fans were only able to get ahold of a narrow range of items at Gundam Base stores. However, with the introduction of Tamashii Nations, fans will now have access to a much wider range of action figures without having to travel to Japan.
Animate, which is Japan’s biggest anime products retailer with over 150 stores across the country, will open its very store in South Korea.
Animate stores have been hailed as must-visit places in Japan for South Korea anime fans, and the first South Korea store will hope to live up to expectations by offering products inspired by a variety of both game and anime characters.
Hyundai I-Park Mall has also said that other ‘kidult’ Japanese brands such as Nintendo, Good Smile Company, and King Kong Studio will open boutiques at the renovated Toys & Hobby store, which will host a total of 18 brands in its spacious 1650sqm.
In addition, K-pop brand WithDrama, German toy brand Playmobil, drone shop Helsel, and popup store Dotorisup, which specialises in Studio Ghibli characters like My Neighbor Totoro, will welcome fans of all stripes and cultures.
“Despite having a market nearly 10 times larger, it seems Japan still couldn’t overlook the potential and the growth of the South Korean kidult market in recent years,” said Han Hee-kwon, an official at Hyundai I-Park Mall, commenting on the Japanese companies’ foray into South Korea.
“With the rise of single-person households and the strong purchasing power of consumers in their 30s and 40s, the kidult market is expected to continue its growth for some time,” Han added.
- Original reporting by MH Lee of Korea Bizwire.