14 Jan 2005
More Than Just Toys(HKTDC Toys & Games , Vol 01,2005)
Perfect Toys Int'l Ltd
Sales director Stephen Shih says he is constantly on the move between the Hong Kong office and showroom and the firm's factories on the Chinese mainland. "We are a highly dynamic company that has been in the toys manufacturing sector since we began business," he says.
"The only thing that has changed is that after supplying good quality low-end items for many years, we are now in the high-end sector," he adds. "However, our core business remains all kinds of battery-operated toys."
In addition, there are 1:10 scale gas- and electric-powered on-road cars and 1:10 and 1:8 gas and electric off-road versions. The 1:5 scale versions are the largest. "All of these items are popular sellers," says Shih.
This line of hobby goods is of particular interest to Shih. "Our gas-powered cars, helicopters and boats are all high speed toys that bring a lot of pleasure, and I enjoy seeing them in production and in the stores - I also like to try them out," he laughs. "We put these items in the hobby goods category because they are realistic and lifelike models that really work. You can drive them and fly them, and they add something more to owning a toy."
The vertically-integrated company produces all the electronic circuitry in-house, including the radio-control sections, plastic parts and even the metal stamping. "The models we make, particularly the runabouts, are hi-tech toys requiring top engineering skills and quality components and parts," Shih asserts.
He cites the electric, nitro gas-powered remote-controlled cars and trucks as examples of Perfect Toy's innovation. "The gas employed is different from regular gas, yet is ideal for the kind of movements and control demanded by today's users of these dynamic action toys," Shih explains.
Perfect Toys follows the typical manufacturing process: initial idea, form design, mechanical designing, prototype formation, product review, moulding, trial production, evaluation, and finally production.
"After the first briefing, we start to look at possible development directions for the proposed item or range, discuss or identify any distinctive features or gimmicks, and draw several sets of rough sketches," says Shih.
"The design team is then responsible for coming up with the finished vision of the toy, and engineering then sets about planning the specific workings of the mechanisms and draws up schematics to explain the toy to the proto-type production department."
Target buyers are mostly in Europe and the US. "We get many original ideas by simply keeping a close ear to the ground and by listening to our clients. We also try to observe what's going on generally in the industry, at fairs and in leading stores," says Shih. "But the key is to have talented designers and engineers able to turn this information into saleable toys."
Perfect Toys has manufacturing facilities in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, where it handles all production and general operations. There are offices and showrooms in Thailand and the US (New York), and the company employs a total of 3,000 people.
"We are not so much in the OEM and ODM segment and tend to sell our products by relying on our brand names - Toyhouse for toys and Smartech for hobby goods," says Shih. "We have been around for a long time, and our customers are very familiar with our products, our quality and our brand names."
Apart from toys, the company also manufactures small household appliances, power tools, electric-powered scooters, baby carriages, and baby walkers.
"We also make the motors and batteries used in many of our designs," adds Shih. All raw materials are sourced on the Chinese mainland, with PT, aluminium and steel most commonly used.
Which goes to prove that hard work brings its own rewards.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Perfect Toys Int'l Ltd