Next month I and thousands of toy industry buyers and sellers will make the annual pilgrimage to Hong Kong. While there we will populate the massive Hong Kong Conference and Exhibition Centre for the 40th annual Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair.
But what draws the industry to Hong Kong; why do people make the long trip…and it is a long trip? Why do Industry professionals travel literally from all parts of the world in order to engage in anything from buying and selling to commiserating and celebrating?
The answer is that Hong Kong is the global nexus point for toy manufacturing. Travel from Hong Kong across the Chinese border and you will find yourself in the Pearl River Delta, home to 86% of the world’s toy manufacturing. Yes, major western toy and media companies come up with the intellectual property, the product development, marketing and more but it is this network of capital, roads and factories that turns dreams into three-dimensional reality. No country in the world can come close to matching this one area’s toy manufacturing capacity.
Hong Kong is where the leaders, the entrepreneurs and the money managers maintain their offices. Western companies, whether retail or trading company, have offices in Hong Kong as well as do companies that service these companies. It’s where 2013 ends and 2014 begins. It’s the place where prices are set and new products are unveiled.
If you want to know what 2014 has in store for the toy industry; if you want to secure the best pricing; strengthen relationships and find new sources of supply then Hong Kong is the place to be. I look forward to seeing many of you next month. If you have not yet made plans to attend; you still can. See you there.
Read this article and others by Richard Gottlieb on his Out of the Toy Box blog on Playthings.