8 Jan 2007
Hong Kong Toy Makers Find New Playgrounds
Asia's Largest Toys and Games Fair Opens
|Left to right: Mr Jeffrey Lam, chairman of the TDC's Toys Industry Advisory Committee, Mr Henry Fan, executive council member, and Mr Fred Lam, executive director of the TDC, are hands-on at the 33rd Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair, which opened today (January 8)|
|The next big thing: Mr Jeffrey Lam (left), Mr Henry Fan and Mr Fred Lam (right) hit all the right notes at the opening of the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair.|
|Even big kids can't stay away from the educational toys on offer at the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair. Zooming in on the microscopes are Mr Jeffrey Lam (left), Mr Henry Fan and Mr Fred Lam (right)|
January 8, 2007 - Hong Kong is taking its toys to promising new playgrounds, a development that is essential to the industry's future, according to Mr Fred Lam, executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC).
"Diversity is the catchword to success in the toy market," said Mr Lam, who, along with Hong Kong Executive Council member Mr Henry Fan Hung-ling, officiated at the opening ceremony today for the 33rd Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair. "Hong Kong toy suppliers will need to work even harder to diversify into new markets and new products," Mr Lam added.
The toy fair's continuing success suggests that they're doing just that. The biggest of its kind in Asia, and second largest in the world, the fair this year has attracted 1,970 exhibitors from 37 countries and regions to its Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre venue.
Among those attending are some 3,100 VIPs from 81 buying missions organised by the TDC. These include senior representatives from Euro Disneyland, Toys "R" Us, Wal-Mart, Hamleys, Woolworths and other major buyers.
Notably, 12 of the missions are from Chinese mainland and five from Eastern Europe. Together, they represent a significant piece of the market "diversity" called for by Mr Fred Lam. While Hong Kong toy sales to mature markets are generally slowing, exports to the Chinese mainland leaped by 84 per cent in the first 11 months of 2006. Exports to Eastern and Central European countries also soared, with Russia up 28 per cent, Poland up 32 per cent and the Czech Republic up 60 per cent over the previous year.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Jeffrey Lam, chairman of the TDC's Toys Advisory Committee, said Hong Kong is also expanding the range of toys it produces and has developed a good market for its educational and electronic toys. "We have a particularly vibrant video games sector. Related products, including smart toys and web-compatible toys, offer opportunities for the future," he added.
The Toys & Games Fair, which continues through January 11, showcases a vast range of toys and games in seven theme zones: Baby Toys and Products, Hobby Goods, Outdoor and Sporting Items, Magic, Candy Toys, Paper Toys and, debuting this year, Story Books. Buyers can also find electronic and mechanical toys, action figures, educational toys and games, soft toys and dolls, toy parts and accessories and party items at the fair.
A series of topical seminars are being held during the fair. These range from educational and environmental product trends to the latest international regulations and safety standards.
The 7th annual Hong Kong International Stationery Fair is being held concurrently with the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair. Jointly organised by the TDC and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, last year's show attracted nearly 15,000 visitors from 120 countries and regions. As a result more than 260 exhibitors from 15 countries and regions, including three new countries - India, Japan and the UK, are participating in this year's fair.
This year's show has two new attractions, a Paper and Printing Products Zone and an Office Supplies Zone. The Paper and Printing Products Zone features 13 companies exhibiting a variety of stationery items such as envelopes, diaries, organisers, labels, calendars, paper bags, gift boxes, wrapping paper, greeting cards, and printing inks. While the Office Supplies Zone groups together five companies showcasing their office stationery products, including laminating machines, binding machines, whiteboards, bank note counters, and paper shredders, etc.
An added benefit for both exhibitors and visitors is this year's seminar programme. A presentation on colour trends for the next season, by Nippon Color & Design Research Institute, Japan, and an informative presentation on Intellectual Property Rights by law firm DLA Piper has been organised and will be held on January 9.
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Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) creates opportunity for Hong Kong companies, promoting trade in goods and services and connecting China and the world through Hong Kong's business platform. The TDC has more than 40 offices worldwide, including 11 in the Chinese mainland. Trade publications and sector-specific research reports are available online or at the TDC Business InfoCentre. For more information, visit http://www.tdctrade.com
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