17 June 2004
Children's Clocks(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 03,2004)
Vol 3, 2004
Teaching The Time
Longford Industrial Ltd makes it fun for children to tell the time with this cat-with-swinging-tail wall clock and cute robot alarm clock
Learning to tell the time is an important stage in every child's education, and Hong Kong manufacturers are helping kids remember their lessons with children's clocks in colourful and imaginative designs.
For example, a cat with a tail that swings in time to the wall clock's ticking and an alarm clock robot with glowing red eyes are two of the popular designs from Longford Industrial Ltd.
"We are design consultants for Panasonic and Philips electronic clocks," claims marketing manager Steve Lui. "We also have our own brand names such as Tapas, Living Gear and Timestone."
Founded in 1989, the company produces numerous gift clocks and various household products at its factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
The minimum order is 1,000-5,000 pieces for children's clocks at FOB Hong Kong prices ranging from US$5-10 per piece, which are delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation. "Our main markets are Europe and Asia," adds Lui.
Youngsters will also be entranced by the fruit clocks shaped like oranges, pineapples, strawberries and grapes that are produced by design and development company, Shimmer Development Ltd.
"We have our own design studio to produce original clocks calculated to appeal to children," explains general manager Christine Luk. "Our fruit clocks are a completely new line, but judging by advance orders they will sell very well in the US and Europe, particularly France and Italy."
The fruit clocks, which are made mainly of polyfoam from the mainland and supplied in a four-colour gift pack, cost US$2 FOB Hong Kong each.
Minimum orders are 2,000 units in any style, with delivery time depending on the quantity ordered. "Our partner's factory in Dongguan covers 30,000 square metres, employs 200 workers and produces 50,000 items a month," Luk says.
A similarly lighthearted new design, a wall clock which has a cat with eyes that move, is a source of great pride to Arthur Yuen, merchandising manager of Product Innovator Ltd.
"The cat's eyes move as the clock ticks, which we believe will help it appeal to children of all ages," explains Yuen, adding that advance orders are already very good.
"We also produce many alarm clocks to make sure kids get to school on time, and have one clock with a dog's tail that moves and another in the form of a bingo score card."
Product Innovator has a team of seven designers in Hong Kong and on the mainland generating concept, product and graphic design. "We have a branch office on the mainland that has the advantage of speeding up competitive sourcing in the mainland," adds Yuen.
The company's main market is the US, but it is currently seeking increased markets in Europe and the Pacific Rim. "Australia is also another target and we believe we can increase our sales there during the coming year," Yuen predicts.
Founded in 1996, Product Innovator produces 50,000 square clocks a month at a 1,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan that employs 200 workers. Minimum orders of 1,000 pieces cost US$2-3 FOB Hong Kong per piece and are delivered in 30-45 days.
Wahtech Int'l Co Ltd, meanwhile, produces numerous clocks for children in appealing colours and shapes, some of them waterproof. "We have a wide product range, including many electronic clocks and devices," explains administrative officer Alice Ng.
She adds that the eight-year-old company likes to make its children's clocks in classic designs and bright colours. "The alarm clocks have bells on top that ring when the alarm goes off and children love them," Yuen explains. "We produce for many well-known customers in the US, where we export 50% of our products, including Royal, Walgreen and Staples."
Wahtech's mainland plant in Shenzhen employs 700-900 workers, who produce minimum orders of 3,000 pieces in any style that cost US$0.70-2.00 per unit FOB Hong Kong and are delivered in 35 days.
Proof positive that when it comes to sounding the alarm for little sleepyheads, no one does it better or for a cheaper price than the numerous clock manufacturers in Hong Kong.
WRITTEN BY WINSOME LANE
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