Toy Industry in Hong Kong: How You Can Grow Your Business

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While toy exports from Hong Kong declined in recent years, it remains one of the strongest players in the world. Including re-exports, Hong Kong was the world’s top five toy exporters in 2021, after mainland China, the US and Germany, according to HKTDC Research. From electronic games, radio and remote-controlled gadgets to action figures, construction sets and dollhouses, these toys by Hong Kong’s competitive brands adhere to international toy safety standards and regulations, making them an ideal global commodity. The US, Japan and Europe remain consistent as Hong Kong’s major toy export markets,  indicating that the toy industry still plays a significant role in Hong Kong’s exports.

Global toy sales value reached US$36.7 billion in 2022, posting an 2.1% growth over 2021. This shows promising opportunities facilitated by the pandemic and changing consumer patterns. Local exporters looking to bring in reasonable profits in niche sub-markets have indeed plenty to work with. 

Market trends in the toy industry: where the potential lies for Hong Kong

Toys are considered an important element in the growth and development of children. Over the past few years, the trend has shifted from traditional ones to brain development toys that focus on logical and reasoning skills, and fostering social interaction. Parents today are on the lookout for such games that families can play together and those that enhance their knowledge of science and technology. Environmental and sustainability issues surrounding the production of toys have also become a key consideration.

According to a report by Expert Market Research, the toy market can be categorised by:

  • Product type: This includes “action figures, building sets, dolls, games/puzzles, sports & outdoor toys, plush and others”. Presently, outdoor and sports toys lead in market share and the action figures segment is set to grow approximately 4.8% between 2023 and 2028.
  • Age group: Segmenting your target market based on three core age groups makes it easier to produce toys that address specific needs. These are 5 year-olds, 5-10 year-olds, and those over 10 years of age. The middle segment remains the most profitable.
  • Sales channels: Supermarkets, specialty shops, departmental and e-commerce stores are key spaces to reach out to your target markets. Although speciality stores hold the major market share, e-commerce is forecasted to catch up over the next few years. 
  • Regions: Target regions include the Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and LAMEA, which comprises Latin America, Middle East and Africa. According to the Asia-Pacific Toy Market Outlook 2027 Report, Asia-Pacific is expected to enjoy the highest growth, making it a relatively lucrative market for Hong Kong exporters of toys.

How the pandemic has affected the toy industry in Hong Kong & the world?

Although the pandemic affected almost all businesses of the world, if there is one business that showed positive outcomes, it was the toy industry. When the pandemic hit, people spent more time in their homes and had to find ways to engage their children for longer periods. These included fun games and activities that the family can enjoy together.

According to Euromonitor, the pandemic lockdowns have seen the demand for toys that support at-home education and entertainment. This reflects the needs of children looking to spend time at home, likewise for adults looking for sources of entertainment. The growth in revenue for the Toys & Baby segment in Hong Kong, projected to reach US$330.70 million by the end of 2023 according to Statista. These numbers reflected could be the result of parents' continued enthusiasm for educational toys even beyond the pandemic.

Although 2021 showed a decline in toy sales as compared to the previous years, the pandemic has indeed shifted consumer values with different toys that are now in demand. This shift gives toy companies an opportunity to tap on to and diversify their range of products to include digitalised entertainment to capture this expanding market.

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Export markets you can ship high-end toys to from Hong Kong

The United States, as the HKTDC Research report reveals, holds the largest share of the toys exported by Hong Kong in 2021, at 22.1%. This is followed by Japan with a market share of 17.3%, and Europe trails after at 16%. Aside from these top markets, paying attention to those that have seen significant growth gives Hong Kong exporters more avenues to tap onto. These include Vietnam, which brought in the highest growth of 147%, followed by Australia and Taiwan, with market shares that expanded by 132% and 33% in the first four month of 2022. 

How to ship toys from Hong Kong?

Before shipping toys from Hong Kong to overseas markets, it is important to pay attention to the logistical journey – from packing to choosing the right delivery options. Some of the guidelines include:

  • Understanding the toy safety standards and regulations in those countries, so that your products are approved at customs and by the legislation. For example, keeping in mind and adhering to the restrictions that exist for shipping lithium batteries will ensure the delivery process is smooth and trouble-free.
  • Spending some time and resources to invest in good packaging practices depending on the type of toys you are shipping and their materials can save a lot of problems. Details such as marking the package with “fragile” for action figurines with delicate parts, for instance, can save a lot of time and trouble down the road.
  • Choosing the right shipping option and provider, so your customers can receive their favourite toys on time and in optimal shape. With fast international delivery services, streamlined shipping processes and secured shipments like those of DHL Express, you can be sure that the logistics of your toy business is well taken care of.

How DHL Express can help you dip your toes into the global toy industry

With DHL Express, you can rest assured that you can reach your target markets outside of Hong Kong efficiently. We offer real-time trackable international time-specific global express delivery so you can send your shipments to your customers in a timely manner. With additional options like On Demand Delivery, your customers can enjoy the flexibility they deserve in collecting the shipments. This, in-turn, can help you earn loyal brand followers who trust you. Leaving the logistical complexities of your e-commerce trade to a reliable partner like DHL Express means you can focus on other areas of your toy export business that matter.

Take your e-commerce business to greater heights when you ship with us today!