One of the winning trends at this year's toy fair is related to the biggest news story of the year. What is it? Nothing short of the rescue theme.
Television images of the World Trade Centre collapse and heroic firemen struggling to save lives in New York and Washington has sparked a revival in rescue and public service themes, according to Joe Lam Fung-kit, marketing manager with Hong Kong-based Happy Kid Toy Group.
Coincidentally, the company had been developing a line of construction worker and fireman-themed toys, which it unveiled to wholesale buyers for the first time earlier this week. The fireman toy set, called the Quick Rescue Team Play Set, is available in either a 40-piece or 30-piece set, with a target retail price of US$20 (HK$156) and US$30 respectively.
Mr Lam says several buyers expressed an interest in the product before the trade show, and he expects strong interest from retailers in America and Europe. Market watchers say children are expected to take to the toy theme largely because the image of firemen and the value of rescue workers has been elevated since the September crisis.
The Happy Kid Toy Group (located at Booth 7A23 in Hall 7) produces playsets, games, robot and space toys, action toys, and infant and pre-school toys.
Mr Lam says the company maintains a marketing sales team in the US, but also has plans to showcase the toy set, along with other merchandise, at toy fairs in Dallas and New York this year.