Those who have never been to Hong Kong in January may not be aware that there are really two different toy events that take place here. One is an unorganized show that takes place in the Tsim Sha Tsui East area of Kowloon. It consists of manufacturers showing in independent showrooms and hotel suites ranging across a number of buildings. The action on the Tsim Sha Tsui East area lasts roughly from January 2 through the 16th.
The other is the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair which is this year taking place from January 9-12. It is organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Most Americans and Canadians stay on the Kowloon side and do not attend the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair. The latter is attended by many Asian and European companies.
Having said that, some have written in via email and the Linked In groups to say that attendance at the Toys and Games Fair seems strong. That may well be the case but I have made no comment on that event; only Kowloon.
As to the Tsim Sha Tsui area I have also received communications from readers via email and through the various Linked In groups about my reports that attendance seems down in Hong Kong this year. Some have disagreed with me and others have confirmed my perspective. Since writing I have spoken to more reps who have reported that the total number of appointments is down. So, I stand by my position but please understand that this is not science; it is my perception.
Having said that, others are concerned by what the reduced activity in Tsim Sha Tsui could portend for attendance at shows in New York, London and Nuremberg. They want to know if I see a link. I do not. I think it is simply a matter of reps reacting to their buyers decisions as to whether to attend Hong Kong or not. In fact, not coming to Hong Kong could in some cases make coming to the other Fairs more likely as everyone still needs to see what is new.
So, don’t worry, this is the toy business; some years are up and others are down.