1 Sept 2003
Party Collection(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 09,2003)
Hats & Caps
Time To Party!
Mass Asia Resource Ltd makes a cute range of children's costumes in up to 10 different animal designs such as this cow and giraffe
Everyone loves getting dressed up to go to a party, whether for a birthday, an outdoor carnival or a spooky Halloween-themed event. From party favours to costumes and accessories, Hong Kong companies have just the right ingredients to make a party fun.
Getting into the party mood, Mass Asia Resource Ltd has created a new line of children's costumes in animal designs. The eight non-seasonal costumes - a giraffe, zebra, monkey, cow, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros and unicorn - are zippered, one-piece body suits, with hoods attached, in 65% polyester / 35% cotton blends.
The costumes are available in three sizes and priced from US$2-8 each FOB Hong Kong. "Animal designs are so trendy now that many of our customers want them," says Angel Lee, manager at the 11-year-old firm.
Butterfly wings, Santa Claus outfits, fairy dresses and Christmas jingle bells costumes are among other designs in this manufacturer's inventory, as are Halloween costumes, party favours and Christmas decorations. Production takes place at a 1,000-square-metre facility in the mainland's Dongguan city, which employs 200-300 workers.
Mass Asia also subcontracts production, particularly accessories, to other factories in the region. "If we make a fairy dress, then we buy the accessories like hair bands and jewellery to go with it," Lee adds.
About 80% of the 25,000-item monthly capacity carries the company's "aa+" brand, with the rest earmarked for OEM or private label business. The minimum order size is negotiable, while deliveries are made 45-60 days after order confirmation. Mass Asia sells to importers, department stores and supermarkets serving Europe, and is considering making a marketing push into South America.
Also offering Halloween accessories such as hats, wigs, candy holders, wands and tridents that are strong sellers is Winmenton Co Ltd, in business since 1976. Other product categories from this company are party favours - party snappers, whistles, paper lanterns - and toys such as water guns.
Most items are made for children, but the company also produces capes and hats for adults. Orders for costumes, except for a few that it manufactures itself, are subcontracted to other factories.
Although traditional costume favourites such as witches, devils and Dracula sell year after year, movies can inspire new looks. "Wizard costumes and brooms may be popular this year because of Harry Potter," predicts director Joseph To. "Spiderman-type accessories such as glow-in-the-dark spiders may be big too."
The company's 200-worker, 30,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan produces 500,000 items each month, which are priced from US$0.50-2.00 each FOB Hong Kong.
The in-house WM Line brand name is carried on half of all products, while the rest are OEM orders. The minimum order value is US$5,000, for shipment 45-50 days after order confirmation. Exports target mainly Europe, both for retail sales and promotional items. "About 20% of our sales are premiums and we want to increase that," says To.
Another company ready to liven up a party is Cosmocrat Development Ltd, which has made a name in costumes for children and adults.
Cosmocrat offers more than 500 styles for Halloween and carnivals, and accessories such as bunny tails, eye masks, devil's horns and princess wands. Interestingly, following the outbreak of SARS, there is increased demand for medical outfits. "Nurse and doctor costumes are coming back," says company director Wong Tai-chow.
The growing popularity of carnivals in Europe has made the medieval-style costumes of knights, peasants and queens a top draw, he adds. Typically made of jersey, polyester or PVC, these costumes sell for US$1-7 each FOB Hong Kong. An example of an item that sells for US$7 is a mummy costume made of cotton.
Last year, Cosmocrat expanded into decorative items made of metal, ceramics and polystone. "Presently, we offer pumpkins made of tin and candy holders made of polystone," Wong notes.
This OEM and private label supplier produces 10,000 items each month at a 2,000-square-metre factory in the mainland city of Guannan, and sells to importers whose markets are in Europe, the US and Canada. The minimum order requirement is 1,000 items per style for delivery 40-60 days after order confirmation.
A company whose name aptly sums up its business is 11-year-old Party Products Mfg Ltd. "We make party hats, horns, paper cups and plates, napkins, plastic tablecloths and banners," says director Johnny Ho.
Designs cover the gamut from Christmas and Halloween to European carnival and birthday themes, while a best-loved item is a paper design of a balloon.
This OEM/ODM supplier has more than 1,000 designs in its inventory and adds 8-10 new ones each month, and the director is confident that sales will do well this year.
Sales are by the pack rather than single items, with unit prices ranging from US$0.10-0.30 per pack (typically containing six party hats, six horns, etc). Europe and the US are major markets, with Eastern Europe coming on strong. "Poland and the Czech Republic are growing fast," Ho says.
The minimum order requirement is 10 cartons with a minimum value of US$5,000 for delivery 45 days after order confirmation.
Proving yet again that ordering party collections in Hong Kong is definitely cause for celebration.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Cosmocrat Development Ltd
40-44 Wyndham St
Mass Asia Resource Ltd
Shiu Sam Ind Bldg
8-10 Kwai Sau Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Party Products Mfg Ltd
10/F, Blk J
Winner Fty Bldg
55 Hung To Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Tai Heng Co
13/F, Blk E
Sun Ying Ind Centre
Winmenton Co Ltd
Nan Fung Tower
173 Des Voeux Rd Central
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