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|□||About Round 5
Round 5 is the premier manufacturer of officially licensed collectible figures based on the hottest sports and entertainment properties in the world. With a vast line of figures based on the most popular personalities in the sport of mixed martial arts and a new series of Bruce Lee-branded characters, Round 5 caters to a discerning market passionate about sports, entertainment and limited-edition collectibles. A Canadian company.
In 2007, brothers Damon and Barron Lau founded Round 5, naming the company in reference to the championship round of a mixed martial arts fight. Round 5 released their debut product line in 2008, which consisted of six-inch licensed collectible figures based on popular fighters and personalities from the sport of mixed martial arts and sold under the line “World of MMA”. Round 5 released a total four series under “World of MMA” before becoming a licensee of Zuffa, LLC, in late 2009. The line was then re-launched as “Ultimate Collector” under the Ultimate Fighting Championship brand. In 2011, Round 5 launched a line of licensed Bruce Lee collectible figures and toys and In 2012 launched a line of toys based off of Cut the Rope.
|□||2010 Best Asia-Pacific Business Award goes to Round 5 Corporation.
The brothers Damon and Barron Lau have been involved with mixed martial arts since they were kids. While working at their father's advertising company, Damon had an opportunity to meet mixed martial arts superstar: Randy Couture. After becoming good friends, they and the legend teamed up to form a business appropriately named Round 5.
It was during a brainstorming session where the two were talking about developing MMA related prodiucts, that Randy and the brothers Lau, came up with an idea about designing and manufacturing their first series of collectible Martial Arts figurines.
The brothers were a terrific team. Damon, with his sales and promotional skills managed to recruit Chinese manufacturers in Hong Kong to produce their collectibles, and brother Barron came up with the artistic designs. Patrick offered his advertising agency's resources and joined his sons on a quest to promote and market their products.
Large retailers like Walmart were one of the first to sign up to sell their figurines. Soon after, Round 5 acquired a licensing agreement with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) which now gives them access to literally hundreds of Martial Arts celebrities.
After their success with Walmart and signing with the UFC, Jakks Pacific, one of the biggest toy manufacturers in the world, wanted in on the action and formed a strategic alliance with the Lau's and now, Round 5 has access to many untapped international markets!
Today, over six-thousand (6000) retail outlets in North America including Toys-R-Us, Target, K-Mart, Zellers, Best Buy and of course, Walmart, carry their product. And the popularity of their figurines doesn't seem to be letting up. Sales continue to increase worldwide.
|□||Round 5's beginnings
It's more of a collector's item as opposed to a toy said Lau, the president and co-founder of Round 5 Corp., a Markham-based company that makes collectible figurines of athletes involved in Ultimate Fighting Championship competitions.Lau's staple product is a six-inch plastic collectible with caricature type style. They have really big heads and really big fists, but the faces look very real.
Since starting up in 2007, the company's products are sold in more than 7,000 stores across North America. Lau expects unit sales to top one million in 2010.The 29-year-old's success earned him a Chinese Canadian Entrepreneur Award nomination.
Lau has been martial arts fan since 1999 and has trained in mixed martial arts for about three years.He met Randy Couture, a former Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler and UFC champion, through advertising work for combat sport content provider The Fight Network.Lau describes him as the Michael Jordan of ultimate fighting. If you have watched UFC, you have watched Randy said Lau. A brainstorming session between Lau and Couture resulted in Round 5. Lau knew nothing about toys or retail but family in China provided financing and brought him to Hong Kong where he had about three weeks to learn the trade.
He started with Couture and fighters Tito Ortiz, Matt Hughes and Quinton Jackson.They now sell 35 figures, retailing in Canada for $14.99 and plan to boost that number to about 140 before 2012.In July, they signed a licensing agreement with the UFC and sales skyrocketed 700 per cent, said Lau. They've opened a Hong Kong office and plan to launch six new product lines by 2011.The U.S. is their main market, while Canadians account for 20 per cent of their sales.
It is not uncommon for Lau to get a call from a fighter asking when they can expect to be featured, or managers asking when the next product line is being produced. I find the athletes and their managers and industry people are actually bigger collectors than I am. They are fanatical.
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|The Action Figure Archive - Monday, May 20, 2019|