Over the past several years, PMI International has steadily built a large portfolio of toys and collectibles based on some of the world’s top entertainment brands. Based in Tel Aviv, the family-owned company is Israel’s leader in manufacturing, marketing, and distributing licensed leisure products for kids, including toys, collectibles, publishing, back-to-school items, and more.
Following a trial run in the U.S. with distribution via ZURU, the company found international success and has returned to the states with a new distribution model and a fresh lineup of products. PMI’s growing range includes collectible figures, plush, keychains, and other novelties. Its signature range of collectible figurine stampers includes characters from PAW Patrol, Peppa Pig, Pinkfong Baby Shark, WWE, Fortnite, Harry Potter, and others. With two major cinematic licenses locked in for what will arguably be two of next year’s biggest hit movies, the Toy Book caught up with Omer Dekel, vice president of international sales, to discuss PMI’s plans for the holidays and beyond.
Toy Book: After a successful run of launches in Europe, PMI is starting to take on the U.S. market. What is your distribution strategy?
Omer Dekel: We are focusing on increasing our presence in the U.S. market and duplicating the success we have with our partners from Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and Latin America. Our distribution strategy is to offer flexibility for different types of companies. We’re selling direct-to-retail (DTR) to major retailers — including Amazon, Walmart, and CVS — while at the same time, opening distribution channels and offering other companies the opportunity to purchase domestically, bringing our products to an even larger number of fans.
TB: What are some of your most popular products heading into the holiday season, and where will they be available?
OD: We are already seeing a growing demand with a number of our collections, especially the ever-popular Fortnite Series 2 Stampers 12-pack Deluxe Box set; the Harry Potter Golden Snitch Premium Collection Keychain; and our WWE Figurine Stampers 12-Superstar Deluxe Box. The products are all available on Amazon right now.
TB: Next year is already presenting some new challenges and opportunities as trade show season shifts. How is PMI staying in contact with retailers to debut new product lines?
OD: We always maintain close connections and pride ourselves with our strong business relationships and the popularity of our lines. Just like all global businesses, we are overcoming the challenges around us through digital platforms, focusing on keeping retailers fully updated through effective meetings and detailed presentations. Quickly adapting to the current situation, we were one of the first companies in the world to arrange virtual meetings at the start of the pandemic, giving buyers and distributors our full attention and a virtual guided tour of PMI’s showroom.
At PMI, we are big on service and the personal touch, whether we are able to physically shake hands, or just wave from a camera across the pond.
TB: In what ways does PMI interact with consumers?
OD: Actually, we prefer to call them our fans. Direct interaction is taken care of by our distributors, who make the most of our ongoing and active support. Still, we never miss the chance to connect with our fans through social media platforms like our updated Instagram page, Facebook, and our new website that will be launching very soon. We also love the emails we receive and answer each and every one of them.
TB: What are some upcoming products that retail buyers can look forward to?
OD: We have a number of things that will definitely be catching the eyes of buyers! We will be launching a new and exclusive WWE product soon that will blow the minds of WWE fans! We have some super exciting mega licenses set up for next year, and we are currently working on a new awesome Harry Potter line that is scheduled to launch in the new year — we are really excited about adding this to the Warner Bros. portfolio.
TB: PMI has some exciting licenses tied to some big movie releases next year that we can’t publicly share yet. How can retail buyers reach you to learn more about them?
OD: We are all excited and can’t wait to share the news with everyone. We signed licensing agreements for two of next year’s biggest movie releases. Reaching out to us couldn’t be easier — just drop me a line at Omer@pmi.co.il!