Even though the cost of labor in China has continuously increased in the past years, its quality, logistics and infrastructure makes it difficult to find "any other countries or regions that can substitute Chinese production facilities in the toy industry," a leading industry expert has said.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, the CEO of European toy manufacturer Simba Dickie Group, Michael Sieber, said Chinese toy manufacturers focus on quality products and create their own patents.
China is the main supplier of Simba Dickie toy parts, and the group has been cooperating with Chinese manufacturers for 20-30 years.
"I don't see any similar setup or facilities in north east Asia like Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, nor in Africa or Eastern Europe where the average of the salaries is even lower. There are fantastic networks and infrastructures in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Shantou. You can find any components there and the ports for shipments are close by," said Sieber.
According to the German CEO, the Chinese toy market is highly competitive. "You often hear in the toy industry that China will be very important in the five to 10 years to come," he said, adding business in the sector develops steadily with around 30 percent growth every year.
Even though China does not have historically toy-specialized shops like in Europe, Chinese manufacturers have proved to be very fast learners and have adapted to international quality standards, Sieber said.
Chinese manufacturers should give more importance to their own products and pay attention to quality control for the future of the industry, he added.
Thorough quality control is one of the reasons why Simba Dickie is highly competitive on the toy market at a global level, Sieber said.
"When you consider the quality of the product, you cannot only look at the costs while choosing suppliers. Your own company needs to have a good internal quality control system," he said.
Addressing global trends in the toy industry, Sieber affirmed that electronic games will never completely replace traditional games. In Europe, the traditional toy market has been growing for the last few years, he pointed out.
While the arrival of the electronic era did weaken some traditional toy manufacturers, on a global level the situation is quite different.
In Europe, for example, parents do not like their children spending hours in front of the computers or with their mobile phones. Board games are still broadly appreciated, particularly among 25 to 35 year-olds, he said.
Sieber underlined the interactive nature of these games, which enable more communication and development of physical capacities for outdoor games. Statistics prove these games still have potential, he added.
"Traditional toys still have a bright future in Europe at least," he said.