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Show Report(HKTDC Toys & Games , Vol 02,2002)

Vol 2 2002

Show Report

Industry Foresees Upturn

Top Toy Town


Industry Foresees Upturn

AS the year 2002 proceeds, Hong Kong toy exports will climb, according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) Toys Advisory Committee. This forecast follows the latest edition of the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair, which in January attracted 28,350 business visitors, up 13% on a year earlier.

"The terrorist attacks in the US exacerbated short-term consumer confidence, but with the negative impact gradually subsiding and US economic growth expected to recover by mid 2002, the world trading environment will improve," says committee chairman Edmund Young.

Toy-fair buyers and exhibitors reflected this optimism. About 75% of the respondents to an AC Nielson on-site survey anticipated a better year ahead. More than 60% expected a US market rebound with the impact boosting other markets.

"Survey findings indicate that 2002 will be a better year. But margins will remain squeezed and product life cycles shortened," says Young.

In 2001, Hong Kong's toy exports faltered due to a sluggish global economy. However, TDC's latest report on overseas Christmas sales showed a 2% year-on-year increase. Given low inventory levels, demand among overseas buyers is expected to rise.

Young anticipates growing sales opportunities on the Chinese mainland due to its World Trade Organization (WTO) entry.

Although most Hong Kong exhibitors operate factories on the Chinese mainland, only 21% of those polled said they are focused on marketing and selling there.

"Those with factories on the mainland should prepare for new opportunities resulting from full trading and distribution rights," says Young.

The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair featured 1,600 exhibitors from 31 countries and regions. The TDC-organized event maintained its status as Asia's largest such fair and the world's third largest.

Apart from hundreds of Hong Kong exhibitors, the fair attracted group pavilions from the Chinese mainland, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Pakistan. There were first-time participants from Hungary, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Sweden, Vietnam and Ukraine.

The displays were organized into categories for educational toys and games, battery-operated electronic toys, baby toys, die-cast/mechanical toys and action figures, party items, toy parts and accessories, multiple products, outdoor and sporting items, and soft toys and dolls.

Next year's toy fair is scheduled for January 7-10 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Top Toy Town

Increased attendance, significant levels of business transactions and heightened enquiries at the 2002 Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair all suggest prospects for accelerated toy trade.

PREPARATIONS are well under way for Asia's largest trade fair for toys, the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair 2003. This premier event will be held January 7-10, 2003 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

In a response to overwhelming demand from buyers, the 2003 fair will feature an exciting new Hobby Goods Section. This will highlight a wide range of pastimes, ranging from models and puzzles to board games and craft sets (including porcelain, knitted carpets and stained glass). The Hobby Goods Section will also feature collectable items and miniatures, plus many other kinds of hobby goods.

As well as this new section, the fair will include a wide variety of exhibits spanning all aspects of the toys industry. Current favourites include educational toys and games, battery operated and electronic toys, and die cast/mechanical toys and action figures. However, the product list does not stop there - other items on display range from the ever-popular baby toys and products to party items, outdoor and sporting goods, soft toys or dolls and multiple products.

TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick says visitors to last year's fair said the event was a great sourcing opportunity. "Some buyers commented that they no longer needed to go to other toy fairs - they only come to the Hong Kong fair because they find it has everything they need," she says. "Others pointed out that the Hong Kong fair is the ideal place to get a feel for what's hot and what's new in the industry."

The 2003 fair will build on past successes. Even though the last fair was held amid a global economic slowdown, it recorded an impressive 13.4% increase in total attendance. With market players keen to capitalize on the expected revival in the global economy, prospects for the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair have never been better.

The fair provides an ideal platform for exhibitors to showcase their latest innovations to buyers from all over the world. While more than 50% of the buyers in 2002 came from Asia, nearly 20% were from Europe, with strong representation from the Americas, the Middle East, Australia and the Pacific region. Exhibitors also came from the four corners of the globe - more than 30 countries and regions were represented.

The Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair 2003 will feature many of the events that have contributed to previous fairs' successes, such as group pavilions and seminars. A one-day retail market tour to the Chinese mainland will also be organized. "This tour will take participants to toy retail and chain stores, helping to give them a better understanding of the Chinese mainland market," says Chick.


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