More than 34,000 buyers — a record attendance — journeyed to the 2011 Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, announced a spokesman for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), organizer of the annual event. The Fair drew visitors from as far away as the U.S., Australia and the U.K., with attendance from some emerging countries like India, Russia and Vietnam rising by as much as 60 percent. The four-day 2011 Toy Fair (January 10-13), ran simultaneously with the Baby Products Fair, the International Stationery Fair and the 9th annual International Licensing Show, attracting over 90,000 visitors to the HK Exhibition Centre in total.
The HK Fair is the world’s second largest trade exhibition, hosting more than 1,900 vendors of everything from electronic plush to children’s tricycles. This year’s list of exhibitors included four Canadian toy companies: Ballstar Toys, Relaxus Products, which makes the Cobra RC Copter line, Storkcraft Manufacturing, and Trudeau Co., the Quebec distributor of kids’ toy food and cooking utensils.
Because it kicks off the trade fair season, the HK Toy Fair is the first event to highlight new trends and swings in category popularity. While everything “green or eco-friendly“ was the outstanding trend, several traditional toy categories, such as outdoor sport toys, brainteaser-style puzzle games, electronic R/C robots and vehicles, and preschool educational items, were also getting increased attention. The Fair is also often considered a bellwether — its success frequently reflecting the health of the global market. This year’s record attendance, especially “the strong showing from overseas buyers, indicates market confidence is returning after the recent global economic turmoil”, noted Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director.