It has been truly a pleasure visiting and speaking at the highly successful 2018 Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair. The event took place at the Hong Kong Convention Centre and drew a remarkable 49,000 buyers visiting with 2940 exhibitors. Adding to the energy was an additional three shows that occurred concurrently: The Hong Kong International Licensing Show, the Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair.
Although the numbers were robust for the Toys & Games Fair, it appeared to me that activity was down in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon. This is the cluster of hotels and showrooms favored by the Americans, Canadians, Australians and other western toy companies.
From my own observations and conversations with others, restaurants were far less crowded and toy industry faces on the streets and in the lobbies of Kowloon seemed in far shorter supply. Perhaps it is the trend towards visiting Hong Kong in October or simply the reduction in the number of retailers and toy companies but the activity was in my estimation far below what it was a decade ago.
The outlook among visitors seemed steady and serious. The industry is dealing with concerns about Toys "R" Us and that fact seemed to dampen the mood a bit.
Having said that, it was a pleasure seeing so many familiar faces and friends from around the world. Next stop: Nuremberg.