It may sound odd given that the 32-year-old is the founder and CEO of Mighty Jaxx, a Singapore-based designer toy firm. But for Jackson Aw, owning up to his mistakes have been important in growing his start-up into a multimillion-dollar, global toy company. If this artist spent their entire lifetime honing their trade, he claimed, “They are greater than I can ever be.”
How it all started
The 2012-founded company Mighty Jaxx has collaborated with some of the most significant international companies and visual artists to create hip collectibles that blend pop culture and design. Since then, “millions” of toy collectibles have been sold to customers in more than 80 nations. He began viewing several “how-it’s-made videos” on YouTube, which he found “fascinating,” and that’s when it all began. He used to watch videos on YouTube to see the construction and process of making toys.
Jackson Aw, who has a passion for toys and has been collecting them since he was 17 years old, booked a one-way ticket to Shenzhen, China, where he toured manufacturers to learn about the process of making toys. As he discovered methods like hand-sculpting and moulding, his initial interest gradually transformed into excitement.
He believed that there would only be a few machines that would dispense (toys). But he was shocked to see hundreds of individuals working only on creating and painting that single object, which, in our minds, would be a mass-market good.
After spending a month in China, Jackson went home and collaborated with Singaporean graffiti artist Clogtwo to make his designer toy.
Together, they produced the “Hell Lotus,” Mighty Jaxx’s first collection. He created 200 units of the toy with the aid of a $20,000 loan, and he debuted the collection in 2012 at Singapore Comic Con.
Jackson Awsold the stock in six months, and there was no going back. “It’s as if that dread never happened again. So they took the cash and started rolling it.
Also read: 10 Best Educational Toys for Kids to Gift
How did he get big break from DC Comics?
Throughout the years, Mighty Jaxx kept collaborating with international visual artists to produce one-of-a-kind, limited-edition collectibles while maintaining a solid revenue flow. For a very long time, they never accepted outside funds.
When Jackson Aw secured his first licence agreement with DC Comics of Warner Brothers in 2015, the company’s fortunes really began to change. In an attempt to “restyle” Warner Brothers’ creative intellectual property to resemble the DC Comics characters, he contacted Julian Montoya. The latter was at the time Warner Brothers’ vice president of worldwide toys. His secretary said we have 30 minutes on Friday; you may come by and speak with us.
He took a plane to Burbank, California, where he gave Montoya a tour of the prospective DC toy designs and 3D models. “At the conclusion, Warner Brothers’ vice president said, “Alright, We’ll discuss it.” He had the notion, “Nah, it can’t be true,” as soon as he left the room. The contract, which was for a global business, was sent over the next day.
The top line for Mighty Jaxx was tripled as a result of the agreement, which Jackson Aw described as Montoya taking “a big leap of faith.”
Jackson Aw claims his business produced $1.7 million in 2015, a fourfold increase over the prior year. And that’s when (he understood), holy crap, something’s happening.
From DC to Netflix
Since then, Jackson Aw has intensified her partnerships with well-known companies to engage fandoms everywhere, including those with Adidas, Hasbro, Nickelodeon, Formula 1, Sesame Street, and Netflix. Through such partnerships, Jackson Aw was able to make collectibles on a larger volume and at reduced costs, giving fans more straightforward access to them.
For instance, the DC memorabilia cost $10 apiece. When compared to other Mighty Jaxx toys, which are created in far smaller quantities and may cost up to $1,200, that is a reasonable price.
Jackson Aw also began manufacturing blind boxes in 2020, which, when opened, reveal figurines or toys to consumers. He collaborated with anatomical artist and American designer Jason Freeny. They used it on several of our licencing partners, and they all adore it since it gives things such a unique appearance. And now they use it as a staple phrase.
Jackson Aw excellent sense of style has undoubtedly paid him. From 2019 to 2021, the company’s revenue increased at a compounded rate of 71 per cent, according to Mighty Jaxx. Mighty Jaxx has raised almost $40 million to date, putting the business at more than $200 million. Chinese corporation Tencent, KB Investment, and East Ventures are a few of its backers.
At the age of 28, Jackson was included in Forbes’ 2018 list of the 30 Under 30 Asians. Jackson Aw has “blinders on” to stay laser-focused on Mighty Jaxx’s future, which involves additional collaborations and a push into the metaverse. He is still eager for more.
“This is real,” I don’t think it’s enough,” he said.
“I enjoy playing many business simulation games but am never satisfied. I’m so compulsive that I restart the game 100 times to simply keep duplicating [scenarios] until I get the correct model.