Record 90,000 Attend Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair and Three Concurrent Trade Shows

14 January 2011

This press release can be found in full on the HKTDC website.

14 January 2011 – More than 34,000 buyers, a new fair record, took in the HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, which concluded yesterday. Asia’s largest and the world’s second-largest show of its kind, the fair welcomed buyers mainly from the Chinese mainland, the United States, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Australia, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Thailand.

The strong showing from overseas buyers indicates that market confidence is returning after the recent global economic turmoil, according to Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director. “We had more buyers from the United States and Europe, while turnout from such emerging markets as India, Brazil, South Africa, Vietnam, Russia and Turkey rose by 20 to 60 per cent.”

The fair, organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), took place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and was enhanced by the sourcing opportunities of concurrent events. These included the second edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair, which welcomed more than 25,000 visitors, and the 11th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong International Stationery Fair, who hosted some 15,000 visitors. In addition, the ninth edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show closed 12 January, drawing more than 15,000 visitors. Mr. Chow said the four fairs brought in about 2,600 exhibitors and “displayed a rich variety of quality products, attracting more overseas buyers to Hong Kong.”

"Toy Fair continues to grow and evolve to keep abreast of the changing needs of the toy industry,” said Carter Keithley, TIA president. “The impressive increase in attendance by licensors, entertainment executives, and international buyers tells us something about where the U.S. toy industry is headed."

Retailers from Emerging Markets

Visitors to the fairs said they noticed more small- and medium-sized retailers placing orders directly with Hong Kong and mainland suppliers at the events. “I am satisfied with the quality of products here, and I have identified several Hong Kong and Chinese mainland suppliers at the fair,” said Askhat Almenov, Director of Extoys, which runs two retail shops in Kazakhstan. He added that he is keen to expand his online shop and focus on games, sporting items such as bicycles and skates, and brain-teasing puzzles for kids.

Reliance Lifestyle Holdings Ltd opened the first Hamleys toy store in India last April. The Mumbai outlet is now India’s biggest toy store. Sudhir Pai, Reliance Lifestyle’s Senior Vice President and head of the Hamleys operation, says two more stores will open shortly, in Bangalore and Chennai, leading to an eventual network of 20 shops nationwide. “About 45 to 50 per cent of our products are sourced in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland,” said Mr. Pai. “We will be placing orders here worth around US$2 million across all toy categories.”

International Brands

Nina Ikeya, Senior Buyer for Japan’s Pigeon, the world’s leading baby and mother-care manufacturer, said she was impressed with the wide variety of global products at the show. “I’ve identified several new suppliers from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and Europe for the provision of baby toys and bedding.”

“It’s my first visit. Results are better than expected,” said Mohamed el Baradie, Chairman of Egypt’s baby product importer Prima for Import & Distribution. “I’ve found several interesting items such as baby bicycles."

Exhibitors Expand Reach

Spain’s Plásticos Zarauz SA made contacts with buyers from Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Japan and other countries. “This is our debut exhibition in Hong Kong and marks the first step for our expansion into Asia,” said Director of Communication Ibon Maza, adding that “we will certainly exhibit again next year.”

“On the first day of the fair, we took orders from Chinese, Indian and Taiwanese companies worth about US$200,000, and established contacts with buyers from Malaysia, India, Mexico and Russia,” said John Shin, General Manager of WITH CNS Co Ltd. Mr Shin said it was the first time at the fair for the Korean exhibitor, which has major clients in Japan, the US and Europe.

Vietnam’s TOSY Robotics JSC, which specializes in robotic technology and high-tech toys, is also a first-time visitor. “We’ve already seen potential customers not just from Asia but from South Africa, the UK and many other places, too,” said the company’s International Public Relations Executive Pham Huyen Trang.

About the HKTDC

A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online.

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