Review of Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair in early years, China

The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair organised by the HKTDC, as Asia’s largest, and the world’s second-largest, trade fair of its kind, the latest toys, games and a broad selection of smart toys, from around the world was showcased.

The entire spectrum of the world of toys and games, from traditional, time-honoured toys to the latest trends, from simple ideas to high-tech gadgets and games, be covered in this comprehensive show.

Market intelligence is vital in today’s competitive toys & games industry, and the show incorporates features and activities designed to keep buyers abreast of market developments. Product Demo and Launch Pad is a platform for buyers to know more about the new products shown in the fair.

The world of toys can provide endless opportunities for children to learn and raise their potentiality, provided they have the right toys. The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair carries an abundance of increasingly popular STREAM toys, which develop a range of skills in science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts and mathematics. Be sure to check out the latest in trendsetting smart-tech toys and games including AR, VR, MR and mobile apps that take the game of early childhood development to a whole new level.

The Smart-Tech Toys zone feature a variety of toys and games that incorporate innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and voice recognition functionality. Sought out by many global buyers, the Kidult World zone showcase toys for grown-ups such as war games, hobby goods, magic items and collectibles. A product display highlighting STREAM (science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts and mathematics) toys was set up to help industry players learn more about the latest trends. Other thematic zones include Electronic & Remote Control Toys, Educational Toys & Games and Fireworks.

The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, usually held together with Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair in January. The four fairs present a diverse lineup of innovative products, including educational toys that inspire fun learning, toys and baby products that incorporate smart technologies, as well as eco-friendly stationery items that showcase creative designs, meeting the various sourcing needs of global buyers. The four fairs create abundant crossover business opportunities among participants from various sectors. The international trade provide an exchange platform for industry professionals to generate more business opportunities for all.

Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair 2013
The 39th Toys & Games Fair expects around 1,900 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions, including six country and group pavilions: the Chinese mainland, Chinese Taiwan, Korea, Spain, Thailand and World of Toys. An exhibitor from Iran participate in the toy fair for the first time.

The fair highlights include the new Kidult World theme, featuring adult toys and games from 80 exhibitors. A seminar on kidult product development. Brand Name Gallery returns with 77 exhibitors. The Hong Kong Toys Industry Conference spotlight global chemical safety requirements and issues. The Hong Kong Toys and Baby Products Award 2013 Prize Presentation Ceremony.

In this year, toy manufacturers realise how important it is to have new concepts and quality products to retain customers and attract new orders. For toys, it has got to be fun. Manufacturers followed the latest trends; included smartphone applications into their products, while the “i-products” attracted attention, educational toys were also popular.

Toys Manufacturers have performed exceptionally, creatively infusing electronic and educational elements into their products and enhancing the products’ functionality and attractiveness. The competition is going to encourage more manufacturers to invest in the development of original designs to meet the market’s demands and challenges.

The 2013 Toys & Games Fair incorporates a special highlight on items for the adult market. High spending power characterises this sector, who are very demanding of product quality. The newly launched Kidult World brings three zones – hobby goods; magic items; vehicles, mechanical toys & action figures – under one umbrella.

To emphasise this new highlight, additional activities for Kidult World exhibitors be arranged. Buyers can have a glimpse of selected key products from the three zones at the Kidult World Display Area located in Hall 1E concourse. Special display area in Hall 3E showcasing an array of transport models allows buyers to preview products of this sector at ease. And a demonstration area for airsoft guns is available for buyers to experience the “power” of the airsoft guns.

To enhance the efficiency and the value of the fair, it is organised into themed zones including Candy Toys; Educational Toys & Games; Electronic & Remote Control Toys; Festive & Party Items, Toy Parts & Accessories; Multiple Toy Products/General Merchandise; Outdoor & Sporting Items; Paper Products & Toy Packaging; Soft Toys & Dolls; Testing, Inspection & Certification; Trade Services and Video Games.

Product Demo and Launch Pad is a platform for pavilions and exhibitors to promote and demonstrate their new products, draw the attention of buyers and overseas journalists and, more importantly, attract potential business partners. A special version of Product Demo and Launch Pad for Kidult World be held during the fair.

The highly commended Brand Name Gallery deserves special mention as the showcase for some of the best toys of the year. It is a special environment in which suppliers and brands are offered a great chance to promote their brand image through the presentation of high quality products.

Collectable items are still one of the main toy categories. Hongqi Limousine Model and AC030 P38J Lightning (1:72 SCALE) are two very different styles of collectables, presented by Century Dragon Diecast Model Limited(HK) and Oxford Diecast (HK) Limited respectively.

Interactive games make up a high proportion of the products in the Kidult market. Augmented Reality (AR) toy gun with game app, developed by Maksco (HK), let players enjoy the fun of mixing virtual vision and physical reality with real-time display.

The crossover of traditional toys with digital applications is a new trend. Identity Games International BV’s (Netherlands) GameChanger and Diset’s (Spain) iPawn, both combine traditional board games with iPad technology. GameChanger won the “Creative Toy Award” of the “Game of the Year Award 2012” organised by the US Creative Child Magazine.

The Hong Kong local company, Toyeast Limited’s 1/24 VsTank Bluetooth iPhone Control Battle Tank can be controlled by iPad, iPod touch or iPhone connected by Bluetooth without any other attachment. VsTank is designed to allow multiple players to battle interactively with realistic battle sound effects and tank reaction.

In 2013, the fair features a number of special events for both exhibitors and buyers. One of these is the Hong Kong Toys and Baby Products Award. This is a competition which highlights innovative, creative, eco-friendly toys and baby products. A number of seminars on market trends, market development and safety directives be held to keep participants updated on the latest industry news, while enhancing the fair’s role as a platform for the exchange of market intelligence.

The Organiser announced the winners of the Hong Kong Toys and Baby Products Award 2013, recognising innovative, eco-friendly and highly interesting toys and baby products. Among the winners are a handset-controlled bubble-blowing helicopter, the world’s first smartphone controlled baby heart monitoring device and the world’s first single button operated smart stroller, etc. The award winning items are on display at Hall 3FG concourse, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, throughout the fair.

A total of eleven awards are given this year. Aside from the Eco Award and Hong Kong Design Award – there are also nine Best of the Fair Awards: “Electronic & Remote Control Toys”, “Educational Toys & Games”, “Outdoor & Sporting Items”, “Kidult Toys”, “Baby Toys and Activity”, “Nursery Electrical Appliances”, “Feeding, Maternity and Baby Care Products”, “Strollers & Gear”, and “Baby Wear & Footwear”.

Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair 2012
The 38th Toys & Games Fair welcomes first-time participants from Greece, Macau, Russia and Ukraine. Group pavilions bring together companies from the Chinese mainland, Chinese Taiwan, India, South Korea, Spain and Thailand. Other highlights include the World of Toys Pavilion, a new Animal Kingdom product zone, the return of the Eco Toys Display Zone and Brand Name Gallery, which boasts a record 80 exhibitors.

More than 90,000 buyers and over 2,600 exhibitors from all over the world took part in HKTDC Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show and Hong Kong International Stationery Fair.

More and more overseas enterprises are coming to Hong Kong for the large-scale international exhibitions, the interest reflected the global economic shift from West to East. This trend has consolidated Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s exhibition capital.

Innovative, eco-friendly tech products were among the highlights of the four fairs. There are also more frequent orders, buyers placing smaller orders more often to reduce inventory and increase cash flow. This also gives greater flexibility to test market response to products.

Threats and opportunities co-exist in the toys market of 2012. Hong Kong manufacturers are facing various difficulties, including rising costs, labour shortage, unstable power supply and expected appreciation of RMB and so on, all in a deteriorating business environment.

Manufacturers must speed up to upgrade their production efficiency; improve the working environment for their staff; enhance management qualities and introduce automation equipment to reduce production costs. Additionally, product safety regulations of western toys have become more stringent and this has also posed a major challenge to manufacturers. Besides, manufacturers may also consider setting up their own laboratories to intensify product quality inspection for long-term development.

In pace with the global trend of eco-awareness, it is common to find products made by eco-materials and ecologically-sound production processes at the fairs. Hape International (HK) limited launches bamboo-made toy vehicles, which are eco-friendly and safe for children’s play. The toys won international recognition, including ‘Best Toys for Kids Award in 2011’ presented by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association.

Green Energy Paradise by Amazing Toys Limited guides players to explore different types of renewable energy such as solar and wind. Kids are able to build their own apparatus and run windmill and LED lamp with stored solar, wind or generator energy.

Nowadays, more and more consumers look for originality and personalisation in products and stationery items are no exception. Specialising in handmade products, Bibon from Korea launches a DIY kit and a wide range of DIY materials for albums, notebooks, interior decoration, diaries and household items. Users can personalise the album or notebook with their own design.

Toys encourage kids to unleash their imagination. The paper house produced by Guang Li Paper Products Limited allows kids to paint the house with their favourite colours. Kids can even create their own solar robot now. 4M Industrial Development Ltd’s solar robot can automatically run under sufficient sunlight or indoor light. Kids can also create different styles of robots by recycling unused materials at home.

Clever design and smart products always catch the eyes of trade buyers and boost sales. Fair visitors be able to see the world’s first Smartphone-controlled robot from Globalactive Technology Limited. Bluetooth technology is used to control a robot via Apple iOS devices, android devices and PC Apps. The nine built-in motors enable robot to perform humanoid actions.

Another exhibit is the interesting rotational puzzle game called V-cube from VERDES INNOVATIONS SA. With its worldwide patented technology, this puzzle has 11x11x11 layers. Special editions in national flag colourways make it one of the most innovative toys in this year’s fair.

The organiser stage various spectacular events during the show; the “Symposium on Toys Sourcing – Smart procurement and Updates on Market Trends & Opportunities” give insights into the latest product trends and market outlook for industry players to explore new business opportunities.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels.