Toy Town Tells the Inside Story of Hong Kong’s Rise to Power asThe World’s Capital of Toy‐Making
New York – January 2011 – As the industry’s top toymakers get ready to present their newest creations at the highly‐anticipated International Toy Fair in New York City, a group of Hong Kong toy industry veterans are asking – can history repeat itself?
Reflecting on six decades of struggle and success, they are peeling back the curtain on one of the most fascinating stories in the history of toys – the rise of Hong Kong to an international toy‐making superpower, in conjunction with the US toy market and, now, the nostalgia of aging baby boomers who frequent web sites that auction classic toys.
With the foreword written by retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alan G. Hassenfeld of Hasbro Inc., and sponsored by the Toys Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, Toy Town: How a Hong Kong Industry Played a Global Game charts the 60‐year history of the toy industry in Hong Kong and southern China. But this unusual industry biography goes much further, to tell previously untold anecdotes about iconic toys from trailblazers and insiders in the international toy industry. The outcome is a 312‐page book filled with humorous, sometimes sad and often touching stories. Many international experts give their views in the book on the future of toy manufacturing, including Toys “R” Us Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Storch. Angela Gardner, a prime contributor behind the Hong Kong toy industry’s book project, was born in Hong Kong when it was a British colony and learned the toy industry from her father Frank, a toy industry pioneer and the head of Plastic Manufacturing Corporation (PMC). Ms. Gardner was the first woman to sell toys on an international level, and founded her own toy manufacturing company in Hong Kong, Castlespring Enterprises LTD, servicing major US clients such as Hasbro, Lakeshore, Lansay France and Learning Resources to name a few.
While in the US she is helping to help launch Toy Town. According to Ms. Gardner, Hong Kong’s toy‐makers, with their international outlook and acquired ability in the 1950s and 60s to speak English, established a unique rapport with overseas buyers, especially in the US, which became the key factor in the industry’s success. “They were all entrepreneurs and risk‐takers together,” she added. “That’s still true today.”
Included in the book:
• How in the depths of the Cold War, a group of determined Chinese refugees turned the beleaguered British colony of Hong Kong into the world’s leading toy manufacturer
• How America’s “Toy King” Louis Marx discovered Hong Kong for toy manufacturing and how Mattel revolutionized the toy industry there with its state‐of‐the‐art production systems
• The inside Hong Kong story behind the production of mega hits such as the Barbie® doll, Matchbox cars®, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® and Cabbage Patch Kids®
Visit www.toytownthebook.com for additional information.
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