Part two of this three-part series discusses the latest plaything trends in the Guangdong city.
Shantou toy suppliers are leveraging the hub’s recent manufacturing advances to move upmarket. Looking to deviate from the staple low-end selection, makers in this city of Guangdong province are developing their design skills, molding techniques, material supply chain and production capacity.
Current R&D initiatives stress value enhancements. More companies are incorporating electronic features ranging from basic sound and flashing light functions to advanced video recording and IR capability. In fact, about 30 percent of yield, most of which are RC types, now adopt such add-ons.
Businesses are also offering releases that cater to a broader age spectrum. Many RC toy providers boast midrange units that fall between the play- and hobby-grade categories. Suitable for both younger users and teenagers, the items can be utilized even as the child grows.
Further, Shantou is fortifying its brand-building efforts. To keep in-house designs competitive, factories are tapping into the cartoon-look trend by creating more whimsical pieces. Currently, the area has several national and global trademarks for electronic, RC and soft toys, and plastic puzzles. These are normally promoted to the upscale market.
To boost product safety and quality, the government spent nearly $1.6 million for the establishment of the Yuedong Toys Inspection Center in the city’s Chenghai district. The facility is capable of verifying compliance with ASTM F963, CPSIA, RoHS, EN 71, 2005/84/EC and China standards. Further, some large enterprises have invested in their own testing laboratories.
Shantou’s output in the featured line comes mainly in plastic such as PP, nylon, PC, ABS, TPR and synthetic rubber. The selection includes sports, bath, developmental and role-play versions, toy automobiles and action figures.
Another popular category is RC models. Companies carry animal, robot, land vehicle, aircraft and boat designs, which are available in mass-market and hobby grades. About 20 percent of suppliers specialize in the latter classification.
Generally, RC sets are priced at $2 to $80 depending on the shell material, size, transmission system, battery and motor. The most basic play units are $2 to $5 and adopt ABS, PP or PS shells. Targeting younger children, they are fitted with simple light and music functions.
Quoted at $5 to $15, midrange variants are larger, measuring 10 to 20cm. Plastic and die-cast metal kinds that have licensed designs and more electronic features belong to this segment. High-end counterparts exceed $20 and comprise authorized replicas.
Apart from toys, Shantou is a major manufacturing base for electronic, mechanical and plastic products, and textiles.
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Note: This article "Shantou toy suppliers bolster upscale line" was originally
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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