7 July 2006
Staying Ahead(HKTDC Toys & Games , Vol 02,2006)
Silverlit Toys Mfy Ltd
|Silverlit Toys Mfy Ltd offers toys, sound-activated robots, TV games and R/C and programmable water craft, vehicles and planes|
Proving that diversity and new products generate new business growth, 1977-established Silverlit Toys Mfy Ltd today boasts a full array of products ranging from toys for toddlers and pre-schooler children to sound-activated robots, TV games and, most notable, its pioneering R/C and programmable water craft, vehicles and planes.
"These lines," says marketing director Eddie Wong, "help us to always stay ahead of the game."
According to Wong, the wide selection of toys offered by Silverlit is the result of the firm's total commitment to innovative, quality toys for kids of all ages. "We feel strongly that this is the only way to survive and grow in this ultra-competitive business arena," he states.
Venturing into R/C toys more than 10 years ago proved a major milestone for the firm, marking a time when producing basic items was no longer competitive.
"Even so," he reveals, "the market again began to saturate. But we never just sit back, and we started upgrading our R/C models with programme-control features in 2001. The market response to this move has been overwhelming."
The response also encouraged Silverlit to launch a micro R/C racing series, the 'X-Trek', in 2003. Packing cutting-edge technology into a small, programmable R/C unit, the X-Trek now numbers among Silverlit's best-selling items with more than one million units sold to date.
In 2003, Wong reveals, Silverlit also debuted its licensed R/C racing cars for WRC and Ferrari, a new venture that soon become another success story.
The 1:16 scale models are characterised by intricate workmanship, and Wong explains that these car models are equipped with hobby-grade tri-band technology and digital proportional functions, which the firm worked on to make more affordable.
He adds that this is one way that the firm kicks off a totally new product, striving always to make something different and better than anything already in the market.
During the past two years the company has shifted focus from vehicles to planes. "There may already be R/C planes out there," Wong declares, "but we want ours to be smaller, able to fly for longer, be more stable, be suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and be especially user-friendly for kids."
The Program-A-Plane (R/C Planes 85623) has programmable keys to create varied flight patterns, allowing up to 40 commands in one flight trip.
Another model, the 85531 R/C X-Plane, is equipped with numerous accessories such as a digital camera to survey the landscape; a rocket release feature; transport cargo or a mini spy plane that can be dropped from the fuselage.
Another exciting range in the flying series is the X-Twin. These are arguably the lightest R/C airplanes with the longest play time. They are made to fly both indoors and outdoors in a breakthrough material that can withstand crashes.
"Selling at about US$9.50 each FOB Hong Kong, these planes are very popular in Europe, the US and Asia. Future models will be enhanced with hobby-grade features," Wong discloses.
Utilising an even more sophisticated mechanism is Silverlit's newest innovation, the 2006-debutant 'X-Rotor' R/C helicopter.
"This range features the smallest helicopters in the market," claims Wong. "For example, the R/C PiccoZ model weighs less than 10 grams and uses super-wide infrared control, allowing precision speed control."
Wong attributes the firm's innovative capability to its 100-person R&D team, which is especially strong in electronics design. Developing some 25 new items each year, every effort is made to train and retain staff.
"We offer continual training at all levels in technical and communication skills to ensure development and production runs efficiently and problem-free and with high quality guarantees".
In 1994, he says, Silverlit's 70,000-square-metre, 3,500-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland was the first Hong Kong toys factory to earn ISO 9001 certification.
"At present, we have a monthly production capacity of 200 TEUs available for minimum quantity orders of 2,000 units for delivery 45 days after confirmation of order."
With an international client base, Silverlit is highly proactive in sales and marketing support thanks to its global agents and distributors. There are also branch offices and sales offices in the US, Germany, Japan and the UK.
"Our offices are responsible for the placement of local advertisements and TV commercials, launching publicity promotions for specific new items and providing point-of-sales display showcases to attract consumers," says Wong.
In January 2006, Silverlit entered into an agreement with Walt Disney Co (Asia Pacific) Ltd to develop different vehicles for Disney movie characters, with the main focus on Toy Story, and to distribute the items on the mainland.
"We have received really good feedback, and we feel this will add momentum to our expansion on the mainland," says Wong.
"Since we entered the mainland market in 1994, we have steadily grown from a single sales office to the current distribution network with 400 sales counters serviced by our provincial distributors and our own offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan and Chengdu. We are optimistic that the mainland market is really ready for high quality, hi-tech toys."
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI
Silverlit Toys Mfy Ltd