China Toy Expo Shows the Dynamism of the Toy Industry in China

Resized.EMILIALSINAby Emili Alsina

Over 50,000 professionals of the toy, baby, and licensing industries visited the trade shows organized by the China Toy & Juvenile Products Association (CTJPA) in Shanghai from October 14 to 16: China Toy Expo, China Kids Expo, and China Licensing Expo. This attendance represents a 26 percent increase compared to the previous year. Alsina, editor of the Spanish magazine Juguetes B2B (specializing in the toy industry in Spain) and member of the International Toy Magazine Association (ITMA), attended these three trade shows to witness the latest trends and developments of the industry in China.

The toy market is very dynamic in China, and has a consumer (the parents) increasingly interested in products that provide educational value to their children. The kids, in turn, are increasingly interested in licensed products. China Toy Fair, which has been held for the last 12 years–and is the largest international toy fair in mainland China and the third largest worldwide–was celebrated simultaneously with the China Kids Expo (childcare sector) and the China Licensing Expo (licensing sector).

Resized.LEGOJuguetes B2B, a professional communication magazine specializing in the toy industry in Spain, attended the three trade shows to give informational coverage of the latest trends in the industry that will shape the Chinese market next year. The strategy of holding the three exhibitions simultaneously makes perfect sense, given the synergies that occur between the three different sectors. For instance, the licensing business has a large influence in the toy industry, with licenses for baby care products as well. Therefore, celebrating the events at the same time is an interesting opportunity for the professionals. [Read more...]

China Toy Expo Highlights Sustainability, Safety, and Education as Popular Trends in China

Despite being half a world away, the concerns and demands of toy consumers in China are not all that different from their U.S. counterparts, according to China Toy Expo.

The first day of the trade fair, along with China Kids Expo and China Licensing Expo—all hosted by China Toy & Juvenile Products Association—kicked off this past Tuesday in sprawling fashion at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in Shanghai. Across three days, 1,364 global brands were on display, and roughly 80,000 visitors were expected to participate.

CTE 1

The China Toy Expo took place at the Shanghai International Expo Center in Shanghai from Oct. 14-16.

Recent news shows reasons to be optimistic about the Chinese toy market’s future, including the country’s overtaking of the U.S. in terms of purchasing power. Yet based on the flow of crowds at the show, many of the types of toys that Chinese consumers are especially interested in are ones promoting sustainability, safety, and educational development. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Marble Runs Are on a Roll!

During Toy Fair last month, I saw quite a few marble runs on display, which is not at all surprising. This particular toy has been around since my own childhood and never seemed to go away for any prolonged span of time. Meanwhile, one of the vendors I spoke to said marble runs have actually increased in popularity over the past year, thanks to the growth of the construction toy category. He also said that many customers opt for larger sets—or else buy multiple small ones of the same brand—and that the ability to combine sets to build ever-larger runs makes for exceptional toy value in their eyes.

Personally, I think marble runs are a thing of beauty: You drop in your fateful spheroid and watch as it winds its way toward its ultimate destiny, guided only by physics and skilled engineering. For young builders, they are a terrific means of developing an understanding of cause and effect, not to mention patience–as any seasoned vet can tell you, it can take repeated tries and multiple setbacks before a marble run is put together perfectly. But it’s worth it: A well-built run can have a downright pacifying effect, as watching the marble traveling along can put the mind in a focused, relaxed state.

Despite what they may have in common collectively, marble runs come in a range of different shapes, materials, and styles. Here are a few of my favorite companies currently producing them, but by no means should it be considered a definitive list. The breadth and scope of these toys is certainly worthy of a longer discussion; I’m just here to get the proverbial ball–or marble–rolling:

Phil.2.28.Pic2Hape is known [Read more...]

Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair Returns in January 2014

HKTDCThe HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair will return next year from January 6 to 9 in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. The fair allows the industry to get a head start on strategies planning for the year ahead.

Last year’s show drew more than 39,000 buyers from 126 countries and regions. This year marks the 40th edition, and more than 1,900 exhibitors are expected to bring their latest collections on display, ready to meet their potential business partners. The fair will include group pavilions such as Chinese mainland, Indonesia, Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and World of Toys Pavilion in the coming edition, further testifying to its internationality.

The fair highlight Brand Name Gallery is geared towards the needs of buyers seeking top-notch branded toys from quality names. Renowned brands include B, Beleduc, B Kids, CMC, Color Rich, Daniel & Co, Dragon, Ein-O-Science, Enesco, Hape, Intex, Moulin Roty, Plan Toys, Welly, Viking Toys, and VTech.

With the trend of combining traditional toys and modern smart devices plus app functions, a wide range of innovative toys and games is available for kids, teenagers, and adults in the new Smart-Tech Toys zone. Exhibitors include Calm Island Co. Ltd., Maksco Toy Ltd., and Roam & Wander Ltd. [Read more...]

Fall Toy Preview Sees Increases in Total Attendance and Global Participation

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

More than 700 buyers from around the world attended the Toy Industry Association’s Fall Toy Preview 2012 in Dallas. This is a 3 percent increase in total buyers who attended to look at the new toys and games for Holiday 2013. A 10 percent increase in foreign buyers was also noted.  The top five foreign countries represented by buyers were Canada, the UK, Mexico, Australia, and Hong Kong. Roughly 348 companies exhibited their latest product lines, including Alexander Doll Company, American Plastic Toys, Famosa, Hape, Inc., Melissa and Doug, Playmobil, Ohio Art, Blip Toys, Safari Ltd., and Razor USA. In sponsorship with Techno Source and presented by Carlin West Agency/NFL Rush Zone, the opening night party for the event raised funds for the Toy Industry Foundation and allowed participants to meet with Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

Hape Announces Contest for ASTRA Retailers

Hape North America, a leading worldwide toy manufacturer, has announced a contest giving one ASTRA retailer a chance to win a trip for two to China. Hape will select a winner who will travel to Shanghai and Ningbo. During the trip, the winner will stop by Hape’s manufacturing campus, which produced more than 8.6 million toys in 2011.

For a chance to win the trip, ASTRA retailers must submit a photo of their best four-foot section of Hape merchandised product to marketing@hapetoys.com by May 15.  One retailer will be announced at Hape’s booth (No. 216) during the Cocktail Reception on Monday, June 11 at ASTRA Marketplace in Baltimore, Md.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Hape Announces August Delivery of Quadrilla

Quadrilla Basic Set

Hape will begin the first shipment of Quadrilla in August. The marble run design is both owned and manufactured by the company. Quadrilla is made of rubber wood blocks, birch rails, and wood funnels. The product debuted at the American International Toy Fair in New York and is available in more than 50 countries. Hape acquired the Quadrilla brand and patents for design, and the product is available in the Basic Set, Twist Set, Rail Set, and the Twist & Rail Set.

[Read more...]