Toho International to Launch Twin E-Commerce Sites for Japanese Pop Culture Fans in North America

Toho International, an offshoot of the renowned Japanese film and TV giant Toho, is set to launch two e-commerce platforms targeting the growing number of North American fans of Japanese pop culture.

One platform will be dedicated to the Godzilla brand, while the other, iiZO, will cater to a broader range of anime fans, offering original Japanese merchandise.

The initiatives are spearheaded by Kristin Parcell, the GM at Toho International, and her U.S.-based team, who joined the company from Crunchyroll in late 2022.

With a team of experts in anime and the Godzilla brand, as well as specialists in merchandising, buying, and fashion, the in-house operation aims to generate $100 million in revenue within a few years.

The launch dates for the e-commerce sites have not been specified but are expected to be unveiled this summer.

The Growing Anime Market and the Role of Merchandising

The global anime market is projected to exceed $50 billion by 2030, with merchandising playing a critical role in its success.

In 2022, approximately 28% of the sector's revenue came from merchandising, highlighting the significant demand for anime-related products.

Toho International recognizes that anime fans have a strong appetite for merchandise, and there is a scarcity of retailers in the U.S. offering a wide selection of officially licensed Japanese merchandise.

The company plans to bridge this gap by working directly with partners in the U.S. and Japan to bring a diverse range of goods to satisfy the demand of anime fans.

Attention to detail, language, and aesthetics is crucial in catering to the preferences of dedicated anime fans.

iiZO: A Platform for Anime Merchandise

The iiZO platform, which roughly translates to 'Yeah' in Japanese, will feature merchandise from the Toho Animation portfolio as well as third-party content.

Toho Animation's popular titles like 'My Hero Academia,' 'Spy x Family,' and 'Jujutsu Kaisen' will be available, alongside merchandise from external franchises such as 'Chainsaw Man' and 'Attack on Titan.'

The platform aims to provide a comprehensive e-commerce experience for anime fans, offering a wide variety of merchandise.

Toho International recognizes the potential for cross-promotion between the Godzilla and anime fanbases, and plans to expose both groups to each other's content.

iiZO aims to deliver an extensive selection of officially licensed merchandise to cater to the diverse interests of anime enthusiasts.

The Godzilla Platform: A Tailored E-Commerce Experience

The Godzilla platform will offer a curated selection of merchandise, including items from the Japanese Godzilla Store as well as international exclusives.

Fans of the kaiju franchise can expect a more high-end e-commerce experience in the U.S., featuring limited-edition collaborations, original licensed products, and exclusive colorways of fan-favorite items.

Toho International believes that Godzilla deserves its own dedicated platform to provide an immersive experience for fans.

In addition to the launch of the Godzilla store, the company will also relaunch, offering a robust online experience.

The Godzilla fanbase spans across different age groups, from young children to older adults, and Toho International aims to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of this dedicated fandom.

Robust Financial Forecasts and Market Potential

While Kristin Parcell, GM at Toho International, does not disclose specific financial details, the company has ambitious plans for the e-commerce initiatives.

Parcell believes that revenue exceeding $100 million is attainable given the current state of the market, the demand for content, and the overall potential of the Japanese pop culture fandom in North America.

As the popularity of anime continues to grow and the merchandising sector plays a vital role in driving revenue, Toho International aims to capitalize on these opportunities.

The company is optimistic about the future of the e-commerce platforms and the potential for continued growth in the Japanese pop culture market.

Toho International is committed to meeting the demands of fans and providing them with an extensive range of officially licensed merchandise.


Patrick Frater. (July 07, 2023). Japan’s Toho to Embrace North America’s Japanese Pop Culture Fandom With Godzilla and Anime E-Commerce Launches (EXCLUSIVE).

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