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China suppliers of toys and games push product enhancements while dealing with higher costs, tougher safety regulations

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Global Sources' China Sourcing Report: Toys & Games shows trends for eye-catching shapes and Web interaction on latest releases

HONG KONG, March 22, 2012 – China suppliers of toys and games are emphasizing better aesthetics and functionality in new models, to stay competitive amid cost and standards challenges. Design trends range from bolder shapes and chemically safer materials to interaction with Web-based devices, even for toys targeting preschoolers.

This is according to Global Sources' (NASDAQ: GSOL) China Sourcing Report: Toys & Games (http://www.chinasourcingreports.com/toysgames). The Report covers the major products of China's toys and games industry, namely action figures, dolls and accessories, puppets, arts and crafts, play vehicles, and stuffed, outdoor, sports, electronic, infant, educational and developmental toys.

Publisher of the Report, Livia Yip, said: "Suppliers see added value as key in attracting more orders, especially in a challenging operating environment. Although 73 percent of surveyed companies predict increased export sales in 2012, they acknowledge facing cost pressures from all angles."

China Sourcing Report: Toys & Games shows that manufacturers strive to gain an edge by incorporating enhancements on most lines. For greater visual appeal, the latest action figures, dolls and plush toys have facial features, skin color and folk costumes customized for the intended users, including South America and other emerging markets. Children's learning systems come in novelty shapes. On 3D viewers, frames boast brighter colors and some look like fashionable sunglasses.

To ensure compliance with stricter overseas product standards, China suppliers are adopting nontoxic materials such as ABS in educational anddevelopmental toys. Many paint kit manufacturers have switched to water-based acrylic, as it is chemically safer than traditional latex. The latest soft toyscome in environment-friendly organic cotton and bamboo rayon.

Manufacturers of children's learning devices are emphasizing models targeted at preschoolers and boosting product functionality to stay competitive amid the growing popularity of netbooks and tablet PCs among older students. The interactivity of reading devices has been improved, toy projectors actually recite the narrative, and software updates may be downloaded from the Internet.

In the outdoor and sports toys segment, sophisticated models promote physical and mental development, including play structures and ride-ons that involve exercises to strengthen muscles.

China suppliers increase prices to balance higher expenditure

China Sourcing Report: Toys & Games also reveals that while generally optimistic, suppliers are bracing for a challenging year because of internal and external pressures. At home, higher material and labor costs present hurdles, with January 2012 rates of cotton yarn up 36 percent year-on-year and PP and ABS both increasing 20 percent. Outlay is also climbing due to rising minimum wages.

Further, the EU's new toy safety directive is forcing China suppliers to dig deeper into their pockets. Companies must spend more on testing fees, as a larger number of materials require monitoring, with the EU legislation restricting carcinogenic and allergenic substances.

All of these spell higher product prices. "Faced with mounting operating costs, China toys and games suppliers are imposing markups of between 5 and 20 percent to cover additional expenditure and keep margins reasonable. Eighty-eight percent of surveyed companies said they plan to raise prices," Yip noted.

With the EU and US economies remaining sluggish, many China suppliers are expected to compensate by cultivating new markets. Target destinations include Central and South America, the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East.

Other industry trends indicated by China Sourcing Report: Toys & Games include:

65% of suppliers plan to boost capital expenditure to strengthen operations

35% of suppliers regard the yuan's appreciation as a major problem

15% of suppliers indicate price competition as their biggest concern

Supplier profiles, price forecasts, and the latest toys and games for export

The 81-page China Sourcing Report: Toys & Games provides detailed profiles of 26 suppliers with verified manufacturing and export credentials, plus contact details of an additional 10 suppliers. It also includes a Product Gallery featuring 73 of the most popular export models, with key specifications and full-color pictures.

The Report's survey, price trends and supply forecasts aim to help buyers make better-informed purchasing decisions.

Specialized Global Sources websites, face-to-face events, trade magazines and research reports

China Sourcing Reports are part of Global Sources' sourcing and product information services. These include Global Sources Online (http://www.globalsources.com), China Sourcing Fairs (http://www.chinasourcingfair.com), Online Sourcing Fairs (http://www.onlinesourcingfair.com), Private Sourcing Events (http://www.PrivateSourcingEvents.com) and Global Sources monthly print and digital magazines (http://www.globalsources.com/SITE/MAGAZINES.HTM).

For more information about Global Sources' products and services that connect quality buyers with verified suppliers, please visithttp://www.corporate.globalsources.com.

China Sourcing Report: Toys & Games is available for purchase at http://www.chinasourcingreports.com/toysgames.

Free information about China suppliers of toys and games can be found at http://www.chinasuppliers.globalsources.com/china-suppliers/Toy-Game.htm.

About Global Sources

 

Global Sources is a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with Greater China.

The core business facilitates trade between Asia and the world using English-language media such as online marketplaces (http://www.globalsources.com), print and digital magazines, sourcing research reports, private sourcing events, trade shows, and online sourcing fairs.

Over 1.18 million international buyers, including 90 of the world's top 100 retailers, use these services to obtain product and company information to help them source more profitably from overseas supply markets. These services also provide suppliers with integrated marketing solutions to build corporate image, generate sales leads and win orders from buyers in more than 240 countries and territories.

Global Sources' other businesses provides Chinese-language media to companies selling to and within Greater China. These services include online web sites, print and digital magazines, seminars and trade shows. In mainland China, Global Sources has a network of more than 30 office locations and a community of over 4 million registered online users and magazine readers of its Chinese-language media.

Now in its fifth decade, Global Sources has been publicly listed on the NASDAQ since 2000.

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