Let’s take a brief break from the letter campaign and talk about something I’ve wanted to for a while: Witty Toys. What is this company, and what does it do? I’ve done some research, and here’s how I understand it. (Those of you who know about the toy industry — you know who you are — can feel free to correct me or add details.)
Formerly known as Rainbow Toys and Rainbow Witty Toys, Witty makes Winx toys (mainly dolls) for fans worldwide — except in North America, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. The company was founded in Holland in 2009, the year season four premiered in Italy. Rainbow actually owns it; it’s part of their group, which is a family of companies with one “parent” that pays the bills.
What about the other companies we hear about so often like Simba, Smoby (part of the same group as Simba), and Giochi Preziosi? I’m sure you’ve noticed their dolls don’t just look like Witty’s — they are Witty’s. Why?
These companies are distributors; they have the rights to sell Witty’s toys as their own. Witty handles the manufacturing, and each distributor handles the complicated parts — shipping, customs, etc. — of getting the merchandise on store shelves in their country. Here are a few of the distributors you may never have heard of: Cotiplas (Brazil), Bizak (Spain), and OFY (Serbia).
Giochi Preziosi (Italy) is a special example since they made Winx toys until season four. Remember the dolls with big heads and eyes? (I’ve always thought they looked funny.) Those were theirs. Check out the Michael’s Winx Club Toy and Merchandise page (dolls) for a trip down memory lane.
What about these Witty-JAKKS hybrids we’ve been seeing lately — JAKKS heads, Witty bodies, JAKKS wings, Witty boxes? I’m not sure. My guess: these two are working together to keep production costs down, especially since JAKKS’s dolls aren’t selling as well here in America. (I hope that changes. )
QUESTION: In your opinion, which company makes (or made) the best Winx dolls?
Chron: “How Product Distributors Work”
eHow: “How Does Wholesale Distribution Work?”
Kidscreen: “Rainbow extends global reach for Winx Club toys”
Animation Magazine: “Rainbow’s ‘Winx Club’ Unveils New Licensing Plans”