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Playground Paradise(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 03,2008)


Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair


Asia's largest toys fair underlined Hong Kong's position as a premier global sourcing centre with even more exhibition space

Toy lovers were certainly spoiled for choice at the 34th Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, which attracted thousands of exhibitors and buyers to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this January.

The world's second-largest toy show was a true playground paradise, featuring everything from traditional toys, story books, outdoor and sporting items, hobby goods and baby toys and products to magic items, candy toys, paper toys and many others.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) Toys Advisory Committee Chairman Jeffrey Lam said that Hong Kong has built a solid reputation for quality manufacturing over the years. "Hong Kong manufacturers are committed to product safety," Mr Lam emphasised.

Hong Kong is a sourcing hub for toys to trust, added TDC Executive Director Fred Lam, who noted that last year's toys recalls had a "limited" impact on Hong Kong's export performance. "In the first 11 months of 2007, toy exports grew 25% to US$11.4bn," he observed.

Toy exports to the US and the EU recorded 4.7% and 24.2% increases respectively, while Christmas sales of traditional toys were steady in major markets.

This successful track record was mirrored in the statistics, which showed that the fair attracted more than 2,000 exhibitors from 36 countries and regions, including group pavilions from the Chinese mainland, Germany, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Spain, Taiwan and Thailand.

Some 86 buying missions involving more than 4,800 major buyers from around the world included key buying representatives from well-known toy brands and leading chain stores such as Toys "R" Us, Walt Disney, Mattel, Hasbro and Bandai; Australia's Toy World; Germany's VEDES; India's Pantaloon; Japan's Don Quijote and Kawada; New Zealand's Baby Factory; and the UK's Hamleys.

They were dazzled by the amazing array of toys, which included:

  • baby toys and products
  • battery-operated and electronic toys
  • die-cast/mechanical toys and action figures
  • educational toys and games
  • hobby goods
  • multiple products/general merchandise
  • outdoor and sporting items
  • party items
  • toy parts and accessories

This huge assortment was easily viewed in seven special showcase zones:

  • Hobby Goods
  • Baby Toys and Products
  • Magic
  • Outdoor and Sporting Items
  • Candy Toys
  • Paper Toys
  • Story Books

Six highly informative and extremely popular seminars saw industry experts share their insights on environmental and safety regulations, sales channels and product trends, while a licensing workshop outlined industry trends and outlooks.

The 8th Hong Kong International Stationery Fair, held concurrently with the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, was also organised by the TDC, together with Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd.

The fair brought together a wide variety of stationery, ranging from back-to-school items, calendars, paper bags, printing ink, laminating and binding machines to white boards and paper shredders.

Nearly 270 exhibitors from 15 countries and regions, including Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Spain and the US, participated.

The Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Thailand organised group pavilions at the event, which featured three special zones:

  • the Children's Stationery and School Supplies Zone
  • the Paper and Printing Products Zone
  • the Office Supplies Zone

An industry seminar featured Japan's Nippon Color and Design Research Institute Inc, which highlighted colour trends for the coming season, while DLA Piper Associate Cyril Yeung reviewed IPR development on the Chinese mainland.

The extremely successful event reflects the ongoing evolution of the Hong Kong stationery industry, which exported US$1.2bn worth of stationery in the first 11 months of 2007 - a 7.5% increase over the same period in the previous year.

Many major export markets recorded double-digit growth, including Italy, up 54%, Australia, up 29%, Germany, up 20%, and Canada, up 12%.

The next Hong Kong Int'l Stationery Fair will be held concurrently with the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from January 5-8, 2009, so mark your diary today to participate in next year's playground paradise.