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					                    Table of Contents
   “Natural, LOHAS & Carefree” Franz Porcelain Shows 2010 Trends (Part 1)
   “Natural, LOHAS & Carefree” Franz Porcelain Shows 2010 Trends (Part 2)
   “Taiwanese Gifts Are ‘Fat’” Exhibition Showed Taiwan’s Design Prowess (Part 1)
   “Taiwanese Gifts Are ‘Fat’” Exhibition Showed Taiwan’s Design Prowess (Part 2)
   2010 British Birmingham Spring Gift Fair Gift Industry Grows Optimistically
   2010 Newest Toy Consumption and Market Trends (Part 1)
   2010 Newest Toy Consumption and Market Trends (Part 2)
   2010 Toy Industry Trends Technology Innovation and Low-Price
   Belgian Official Mottard Praises Taiwan's Design Achievements
   Creative “Snuggies” Are Taiwanese Stay-at-Home Loners’ Good Company
   Electronics Are the Most Popular Gifts for St. Nicolas Day in the Netherlands
   Licensed Gifts of the Shanghai World Expo Are Hot!
   Lovely and Practical Products Popular in the Tokyo Licensing Asia 2009 (Part 1)
   Lovely and Practical Products Popular in the Tokyo Licensing Asia 2009 (Part 2)
   More Asia-Pacific Consumers Turn Moral and Buy Eco-friendly Gifts
   Packaging and Marketing Are the Key to Taiwan’s Tung Blossom Season
   Pets Want Presents, Too!
   Soaring Gold Prices Dampen Indian Festival
   Taiwan’s Eslite Bookstore and Pegatron Cooperate to Make Fine-Living Products
   Taiwan’s Writing-Tool Maker Rabbit Industry Corp. Turns 64 and High-End
   The 2010 Toy Industry Trends Innovative, Inexpensive, and Safe
   The 2010 Toy Industry Trends Innovative, Inexpensive, and Safe (Part 2)
   The American Charity Gift Cards Give Regards and a Better World All at Once
   Toy-Makers Look to Tech, Green Materials
   US$671 Million Worth of Mother’s Day Cards Sold in the US
“Natural, LOHAS & Carefree” Franz
Porcelain Shows 2010 Trends (Part 1)
                                                                      Date: 2/11/2010


The San Francisco-based Taiwanese Franz Porcelain is aimed to
transform traditional porcelain into possessing modern charm and to
integrate into nature and everyday life.

The San Francisco-based Taiwanese Franz Porcelain held a “Natural,
LOHAS and Carefree” seventh birthday party on January 6, 2010. Ever
since Franz’s “Butterfly” series won the “Best in Gift” award in the New
York International Gift Fair in 2002, its porcelain gift items have swept
across the globe and gathered rave reviews. The company officially
opened retail stores in Taiwan in 2003. In seven years, Franz Porcelain
has deeply rooted into people’s hearts, not only becoming a fashionable
classic gift brand among Taiwanese consumers, but also top gift items for
heads of states in both Taiwan and China especially for overseas
diplomatic missions.

The CEO of Franz Porcelain Francis Chen expressed in the birthday
party that the cultural and creative products cannot just rely on creativity.
They must integrate into real life to truly survive. Hence, pursuing the
ideal of “arts becoming life, life becoming arts” is very important. When
people’s living standards are raised to a certain level, they will naturally
seek higher quality, taste and character of life in order to enjoy life. Franz
Porcelain is exactly aimed to transform traditional porcelain into
possessing modern charm and to integrate into nature and everyday life.
It is also hoped that the artworks can be passed down from generation to
generation, and be dug out as well-preserved artifacts thousands years

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“Natural, LOHAS & Carefree” Franz
Porcelain Shows 2010 Trends (Part 2)
                                                                        Date: 2/25/2010


 The San Francisco-based Taiwanese Franz Porcelain introduced a new
 trend of its 2010 products—“Living LOHAS with Franz”—at its 7th
 birthday party early this year.

 At the seventh birthday party just held on January 6, 2010, the San
 Francisco-based Taiwanese Franz Porcelain introduced a new trend of
 its 2010 products—“Living LOHAS with Franz.” Besides continuing to
 uphold Franz Porcelain’s five major brand styles of uniqueness,
 friendliness, fashion, culture and art, the company has specially created a
 new trend of life of health and sustainability for 2010.

 In particular, the “Peace & Harmony”-themed porcelain works adopt
 ideas from the influential Chinese Taoist philosopher Zuangzi’s work
 Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease, using quiet and serene green bamboo
 forest as the background accompanied by shuttling white-eared thrushes,
 turtledoves, butterflies and ladybugs to show a sense of carefree-ness.
 Designer Li Chieh Wen fully utilizes the straight and jointed
 characteristics of bamboos, employing simple lines and colors to create
 porcelain works that combine Eastern Zen atmosphere with Western new
 artistic sensitivity.

 Other nature-oriented Franz porcelains also take up flowers and animals
 as main themes, such as a series of hand-painted, limited-editioned
 flower vases, which further emphasizes a brand new 2010 LOHAS trend
 completely different from the previous years.

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“Taiwanese Gifts Are ‘Fat’”
Exhibition Showed Taiwan’s Design
Prowess (Part 1)            Date: 4/29/2010


A “Taiwanese Gifts Are ‘Fat’” exhibition, organized by the Taiwan Design
Center, was held on Feb. 5 – March 1, 2010, in which Taiwan’s design
prowess was fully displayed.

The Taiwan Design Center recently held a “Taiwanese Gifts Are ‘Fat’”
exhibition from February 5 to March 1, 2010, inviting design companies
like AGUA Design, Su Ho Memorial Paper Culture Foundation, Afterain
Design Studio, and UID Create, to together “give gifts” for the year of
Tiger, decorating life and bringing new ideas.

One of the most noticeable items in the show is the “A Flower” lamp
designed by Su Ho Memorial Paper Culture Foundation, which had won
top award in the 2009 OTOP design competition. Red hand-creped paper
is made into flower petal-shaped pieces. One can actually piece the
“petals” together according to one’s wish, creating a
flower-blooming-looking lamp and adding “red” sense of happiness in
everyday life.

To pray for better business, AGUA Design’s TODIGONGGONG, or “Land
God” Tablescape Series, which are also seals, can be placed in any
corner of office desks to bring good fortune and luck.



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“Taiwanese Gifts Are ‘Fat’”
Exhibition Showed Taiwan’s Design
Prowess (Part 2)             Date: 5/5/2010


Catering to Chinese-speaking people’s love for saving money, many gift products on
display at the “Taiwanese Gifts Are ‘Fat’” exhibition showed symbols of wealth.

Continuing with last week’s topic, in the “Taiwanese Gifts Are ‘Fat’” exhibition held
by the Taiwan Design Center on 2/5-3/1, catering to Chinese-speaking people’s love
for saving money, many gift products on display showed symbols of wealth. For
example, the design of “WISH” tray exhibited by Day & Day Trading Corp. combines
traditional concepts of the East and West, and models after a wishing pond. Every
time when loose changes or small accessories are dropped into the “WISH” tray, it
signifies an act of making a new wish!

Also, 28 Biaugust launched a series of anti-war gifts, such as “A Love Grenade” coin
bank. A portion of the profit made by selling the coin banks is donated to “Act Now to
Stop War & End Racism” Coalition to contribute a little to pursuing world peace.

What’s more, the “special Songban sliced pork meat” are not for hot-pot cooking.
The creative design by UID Create gives a piggy bank “removable money-saving
spaces.” When you need to take out money from the piggy bank, you don’t need to
“kill” the entire piggy.

You only need to remove the portion you want. The rest stays with the streaky pork
meat. Pieces of “sliced pork meat” which is also “money-saving spaces,” can be
added onto the piggy infinitely. When the “piggy fat” grows “layer over layer” through
adding “sliced pork meat” piece after piece, it is time you get richer and richer!


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2010 British Birmingham Spring Gift
Fair: Gift Industry Grows
Optimistically              Date: 4/8/2010


Gift industry insiders expressed in the Spring Fair International 2010 just
held in Birmingham, UK that the home decoration and gift industries
performed exceptionally stably and positively in 2009.

The number of Asian companies participating in the Spring Fair
International 2010 on gifts held on February 7-11 in Birmingham, UK was
the highest ever. All kinds of products, including greeting cards,
stationery and Christmas fireworks, displayed by the Asian companies
were especially noticeable. They are Global Greetings’ stationery, art
papers, gifts, and packaging; Hong Kong Dason Paper Products Co.
Ltd.’s Christmas cards, shopping bags, envelopes, and “social”
stationery; and Nicole Greeting Cards’ high-quality, hand-made greeting
cards.

Fishpool’s Sourcing Director Satish Jethwa pointed out that Hong Kong
and Asia are important sourcing areas for the industries of home
decoration and gift products. The Fair Director Julie Driscoll said, though
the economy has been down, the gift market is still lively and has been
growing. The Managing Director of the Fair organizer “Emap Connect
Home & Gift” Louise Young also stated that the home decoration and gift
industries performed exceptionally stably and positively in 2009. The
companies exhibited in the Fall 2009 show have in fact received a large
amount of orders. Young is very confident about the gift industry’s
performance in 2010.
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2010 Newest Toy Consumption
and Market Trends (Part 1)
                                                                       Date: 3/18/2010


Six toy product development trends discussed in the 2010 Hong Kong
Toys & Games Fair are technology, branding, authorization, durability,
global market, and amusement.

A “Toy Industry’s Newest Consumption and Market Trends” forum was
held in the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair that took place in January this
year. The speakers in the forum all agreed that the toy market has
warmed up. In the area of toy product development, the speakers talked
about six trends of the toy industry which are technology, branding,
authorization, durability, global market, and amusement.

The president of Techno Source, Eric Levin pointed out in the forum that
a majority of toys has a fixed form. The toys of the past are actually
similar to toys today, but are expressed through different tools. The toys
of the future will emphasize using technology to arouse imagination and
obtain new experiences and pleasures.

The Zhu Zhu Pet that was widely popular in the US in 2009 was also
brought up in the forum. Another speaker Ron Cantor indicated that the
success of the electronic AniMagic Pets is due mainly to their adorability,
durability, and electronic features, which altogether give customers more
value than their competitors.


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2010 Newest Toy Consumption
and Market Trends (Part 2)
                                                                       Date: 3/25/2010


Part 2 of the “Toy Industry’s Newest Consumption and Market Trends”
forum discusses more in detail about the branding, authorization and
durability aspects.

The “Toy Industry’s Newest Consumption and Market Trends” forum
mentioned in Part 1 pointed out some future trends of the toy industry.
Besides the technology, global market and amusement aspects talked
about in Part 1, this segment wants to discuss more in detail about
branding, authorization and durability.

On branding, the senior vice president of Mattel, Stephanie Cota shared
the experience of how Mattel repeatedly made over and re-launched the
50-year old Barbie. She expressed that when updating a product, the
most important thing is to tell all the people you are keeping all the main
characteristics of the product, but only promoting it with different methods
or media, like a website, Facebook, music video or DVD. All essential
Barbie-related information remains the same.

Regarding how to design a durable toy, one speaker Deborah Terrell said
that designers need to look at toys from children’s perspectives and think
about what would be fun for children. They should then take mothers’
considerations into account, because a lot of toys are bought by mothers
especially in the US.


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2010 Toy Industry Trends:
Technology Innovation and
Low-Price                                                              Date: 3/3/2010


Technology innovation and low-price are 2010’s two major trends for
toys.

The American International Toy Fair merrily took place this year on
February 14 in New York. Technology innovation and low-price are
2010’s two major trends. Last Christmas’ wildly popular Zhu Zhu Pets
have made an indelible mark on many manufacturers’ mind that now they
generally believe as long as toys are technologically innovative and
reasonably priced, they can sell well for a long time.

Not that many items that were displayed in this year’s show are above
US$100. Most of them are below US$30. For example, Mattel Inc.’s
newly launched mini-, wireless and remotely-controlled toy car, and Spin
Master’s flying electronic UFO were all priced at US$24.99. Zhu Zhu Pets
maker Cepia also planned to follow up on last year’s success to introduce
40 new types of pets to be priced lower than US$10.

At the same time, the spokesman of the US-based Toy Industry
Association has also expressed that this year’s product trend is
reasonable price. The most widely seen ones are eco-friendly toys priced
under US$25, brain-stimulating games that are beneficial to children’s
mind, and cheaply-priced high-tech toys.



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  Belgian Official Mottard Praises
  Taiwan's Design Achievements                                                         Date: 6/15/2010



The Belgian Liege provincial deputy Paul-Emile Mottard, who is in charge of cultural affairs, praised
Taiwan's commercial and industrial design strength in late May. A Belgian provincial official on May 27
praised Taiwan's world-renowned commercial and industrial design strength and expressed hope that
Taiwan's participation in the upcoming International Design Biennial in Liege, Belgium will help
enhance exchanges between Asian and European designers.

Taiwan will make its debut at the three-week event when it opens at the Ansembourg Museum on Oct.
1, with the country showcasing more than 20 works selected by the national-level Taiwan Design
Center. Paul-Emile Mottard, provincial deputy in charge of cultural affairs and a member of the Liege
provincial council, told the Central News Agency that the biennial, set to enter its fifth edition this year,
has won world acclaim.

Mottard said that Taiwanese designers have emerged as important players in the international arena
over the last few years with their design skills and creativity. He also voiced hope that Taiwan can
serve as a springboard for creative collaboration between Europe and Asia. Taiwan's exhibits will be
showcased under the theme "Focus on Taiwan," according to event organizers.

Mottard and event organizers also said they have great interest in attending the Taiwan International
Design Expo next year in Taipei.

Mottard said that he was looking forward to visiting Taiwan to gain an understanding of the country's
achievements in commercial and industrial design.

More than 35,000 visitors visited the 2008 event, in which a wide variety of works from Britain,
Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Switzerland, Palestine and African countries were on display.


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Creative “Snuggies” Are
Taiwanese Stay-at-Home Loners’
Good Company               Date: 1/14/2010


In the cold late 2009, a surprising hot product—“snuggie” or sleeved
blanket—popped out in the Taiwanese online shopping community.
Snuggies were supposed to be put on sales shelves by superstores in
Taiwan, but because they are too “stay-at-home-loner” looking and were
then transferred to online shopping centers. Snuggies unexpectedly have
been selling well online and have become the “hottest” item of this
winter’s new products in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s well-known home decoration brand Cotton Field precisely
matches people’s desire to wrap blanket around their body at all times in
winter and continuously develops ever more trendy and
consumer-sensitive home decoration product. To meet better
Taiwanese consumers’ demand for higher quality and more comfortable
goods, Cotton Field adopted instead micro-fiber material (rather than the
American fleece material) and combined it with the currently popular
American snuggie design to create its own fashionable and original
snuggie. With such unique, convenient and intimate design, the
Taiwanese snuggies became a hot item instantly when it went on Internet
stores, especially among “stay-at-home loners” who are usually long-time
Internet surfers. The record is 100 snuggie orders a day. Cotton Field has
been selling its own snuggies since December 2009 and the buying fever
is expected to last into the beginning of 2010.



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  Electronics Are the Most Popular
  Gifts for St. Nicolas Day in the
  Netherlands                    Date: 12/30/2009


The Dutch attach great importance to the St. Nicolas Day on December
5, which is also the most popular time to buy and give gifts. The
Internationale Nederlanden Groep (ING) reported on November 30, 2009
that the global financial crisis has not shrunk Dutch people’s budget for
gifts. 47% of the people have a 20-euro budget; 30% has 20 to 100-euro
budget; and 20% has a budget of over 100 euros. At the same time, 32%
of the consumers expressed that they would cut down on the number of
items they give, and would instead spend more on fewer, higher
unit-price ones.



Besides the traditional gifts such as candies, toys and books, the more
expensive electronic products were also in significant demand. The
Netherlands’ renowned business and trade website Z24 has listed
electronic book, netbook, video game, portable hard-drive, Apple iPod,
GPS, high picture-quality digital camera, Apple MagicMouse and mobile
phone as the hottest electronic items for this year’s St. Nicolas Day.




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Licensed Gifts of the Shanghai
World Expo Are Hot!
                                                                      Date: 6/24/2010


The Shanghai World Expo estimated that in only the very first week of the
Expo, the licensed souvenirs already made about RMB$14 billion worth
of profits.

Long lines line up at every souvenir shop in the 2010 Shanghai World
Expo. According to early estimates, souvenirs licensed by the Expo are
nearly 10,000 kinds, ranging from decorative items and pins that cost
about 10 renminbis (RMB) to expensive commemorative gold coins that
are worth over RMB$10,000. All of them are hotly sought after by crazy
fans of the Expo. About 50,000 of the most popular “Expo Passports” are
sold everyday. Luxurious gifts like the pure gold model China Pavilion
which costs over RMB$20,000 are also bought by many collectors.

The Expo organizers have calculated that in only the very first week of
the Expo, the licensed souvenirs already made about RMB$14 billion
worth of profits. Currently there are 81 licensed souvenir shops in the
Expo. But, outside the Expo in the city and airports of Shanghai, there are
numerous Expo licensed souvenir shops as well. In short, licensed gifts
of the Expo are hot!



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Lovely and Practical Products
Popular in the Tokyo Licensing
Asia 2009 (Part 1)           Date: 1/21/2010


The Licensing Asia 2009 was held late last year at the Tokyo Big Sight.
Four market trends were revealed in the show.

The Licensing Asia 2009 was held late last year at the Tokyo Big Sight.
Four market trends were revealed in the show. First, the most licensed
items are animation and cartoon characters. Second, sample gift market
has crossed many fields. For example, sample gifts have integrated
numerous traditional and popular cultural elements. Third, sample gifts
have become of higher value. Lastly, environmentally conscious original
designs are in style.

Observing the licensed products in the show, it is easily discovered that
whether it is a can opener or coat, the winning items are those that
combine lovely, fashionable elements with practical functions. For
instance, the most popular licensed items in Japan in 2009 were the
British Royal Mail’s emblems and pictures. The large-scale apparel retail
company Uniqlo printed the emblems and pictures on young people’s
T-shirts and other casual wear, turning classics into fashion.

Other unique products or licensed items include colorful “excrements” or
“shits,” pictures of teenaged girl “Lolita,” Polynesian Tiki products, Andy
Warhol’s canned soups and other classic or contemporary artworks.



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Lovely and Practical Products
Popular in the Tokyo Licensing Asia
2009 (Part 2)                Date: 1/28/2010


Some companies participating in the Tokyo Licensing Asia 2009 adjusted
their market strategy to focus on specific segments of the population or
their existing clients to promote higher priced publicity gifts.

Some participants of the Licensing Asia 2009 held late last year in Tokyo
adjusted their market strategy. In the past they often promoted in large
quantity cheap sample or complimentary gifts, but now they focus on
specific segments of the population or the companies’ existing clients to
promote higher priced publicity products. For instance, many publicity
products used to be priced at US$0.1 to 0.5, but in the show products
priced five to ten times higher appeared in great quantity.

Well-known show participants include Dick Bruna, Marvel and Sony. The
big-eared monkey gift Cheburashka represented by the company Yuto
Watanabe was most noticeable in the show. Cheburashka is a character
from a Russian children’s book published in 1966. Yuto Watanabe
indicated that the character not only has to be lovely but most importantly
should also be able to please women. Plus, Nicolas Loufrani, the son of
the world renowned “smiley face” creator, also introduced a series of
“smiley face” products, such as cell phone hanging ornaments that
symbolize different cities of Japan. This is a localized market strategy,
because when Japanese people travel, they usually buy souvenirs even
if it is only a one-day trip.


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More Asia-Pacific Consumers Turn
Moral and Buy Eco-friendly Gifts
                                                                      Date: 5/12/2010


MasterCard’s recent survey shows that nearly 70% of the people in the
Asia-Pacific would buy eco-friendly gifts regardless of price.

MasterCard released a survey on March 15, 2010 which shows that more
than six out of every ten consumers in the Asia-Pacific area would shop
“fair trade” or eco-friendly products, illustrating the fact that
commercialism is developing in the direction of morality and conscience.

MasterCard conducted the survey in late 2009 on 3,500 consumers in 13
markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The result shows that nearly 70% of
the people would buy eco-friendly gifts regardless of price. MasterCard’s
Vice President of Public Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and
Africa expressed that consumers have realized that even shopping could
cause significant effects on the world. Right now there is a mass of wise
and clear-sighted consumers in the Asia-Pacific who are turning to
“moral” shopping.

The five areas of which the willingness to purchase higher-priced but
more eco-friendly products is above the region’s average are China
(94%), Thailand (87%), India (83%), the Philippines (82%), and Hong
Kong (77%).



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Packaging and Marketing Are the
Key to Taiwan’s Tung Blossom
                            Date: 6/10/2010
Season
The success of Taiwan’s tung blossom season relies on apt design,
packaging, and precise and effective marketing strategies.

Similar to Japan’s popular cherry blossom season in early spring, the
gradually noticeable tung blossom season in Taiwan at the outset was a
small, locally-based cultural occasion. But, the Taiwan government
started to widely promote tung blossom season activities seven years
ago. Imitating Japan, the Taiwan Design Center invited many cultural and
creative artists to design tung blossom related commercial items. The
company Cheerful Fashion Goods has even successfully marketed its
tung blossom designs to the world.

This year, as the chain coffee shop Starbucks in Taiwan introduced a
series of tung blossom merchandise, many Taiwanese companies have
also used tung blossom as product design, demonstrating that the
marketing of tung blossom in recent years has accumulated to a certain
level of capacity. Starbucks in fact warmed up the tung blossom season
with the cherry blossom season activities first, which at the same time
has effectively extended and enriched the “flower”-themed marketing
strategy.

Taking Japan’s successful marketing strategy as an example, they have
already transformed the flower image of cherry blossom to symbolize
“spring” and “youth.” In other words, the alchemy based on flower relies
on apt design, packaging, and precise and effective marketing strategies.



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Pets Want Presents, Too!
                                                                       Date: 1/7/2010


Because pets are now often considered members of a human family,
when it comes to gift-giving time, they usually get theirs, too. According to
survey conducted by Associated Press in December 2009, the pet
owners who prepared to give gifts to their pets during the holiday season
increased 10% over 2008. The growing figure shows that more and more
people take pets seriously. Cat and dog behavioral scientists also point
out that as some pet owners worry that when people happily open
presents on Christmas Day, cats and dogs who observe the
present-opening occasion on the side would feel “hurt” or be “mentally
unbalanced,” many pet owners have now also bought gifts for their
beloved pets.



Shopping experts indicate that cheap and fun pet products are most
popular Christmas presents. Cat and dog behavioral scientists on the
other hand reveal that besides for fun, there is in fact a significant number
of practical pet owners who would choose more economical and useful
pet products as gifts. Taiwan-developed pet mattress, made by
high-density sponge foam which is able to hold up to 20 kilograms of
weight and washable by laundry machine, and will not deform after long
sleep-on, is especially the most caring present that pet owners can give
their pets.


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Soaring Gold Prices Dampen
Indian Festival
                                                                   Date: 5/20/2010


Fears about financial turmoil in the eurozone have pushed the price of
gold to an all-time peak, deterring Indian buyers for the Akshay Tritiya
festival, which falls this year on May 16.

Hopes of bumper gold sales for an Indian festival over the weekend of
May 15-16 viewed as auspicious for buying the yellow metal look set to
be dashed by record-high prices, industry figures said on May 15.

India is the world's biggest importer and consumer of the precious metal
but fears about financial turmoil in the eurozone have pushed the price of
gold to an all-time peak, deterring buyers.

Demand for gold traditionally leaps in India for the Akshay Tritiya festival,
which falls this year on May 16, as India's nearly 900 million Hindus
believe it to be a lucky day to purchase gold jewelry and gold coins.

"But this is a very bad year with gold prices at record highs," Suresh
Hundia, head of the Bombay Bullion Association, told AFP.

The day looks like it will be "a very, very big flop, going by the trends," he
said.

"People are lining to sell old gold jewelry, not to purchase it," Hundia said
in a telephone interview.

Hindus traditionally believe they can get lasting prosperity and good luck
by buying precious metals on Akshay Tritiya, which in Sanskrit means
"never diminishing" and is celebrated throughout India.

But "instead of buying, what we have is customers who are scrapping
their old gold jewelry and turning it into new jewelry," Hundia said.
Last year sales of gold for the festival totaled around 40 tons but Hundia
said sales could decline by more than 50 percent this time.
"Nothing is selling," Daman Prakash Rathod, director at MNC Bullion, told
India's Business Standard daily.
The next big gold purchasing festival, Dhanteras, falls in November.
Gold of 99.95 percent purity hit an all-time high of 18,325 rupees
(US$405) per 10 grams in Mumbai on May 14.
Abroad, gold prices smashed their way to fresh record highs of
US$1,249.40 an ounce on May 14, with demand driven by investors
seeking shelter from the eurozone debt crisis.
The weeks leading up to Akshaya Tritiya used to be the most lucrative for
jewelers with consumers considering it a good time to purchase gold.
"We are seeing fewer buyers than we do normally but maybe we will see
more people come in tomorrow (May 16)," said Ravi Chakravorty, an
employee at a jewelry store in downtown New Delhi.
"They may buy something (gold that is) small because it's a special day,"
he said.
India's production of the precious metal is a scant 3.5 tons.
It imported 578 tons last year, which was 18 percent less than the
previous year, according to industry figures, and Hundia said poor festival
demand could signal gold imports this year might be even lower than in
2009.
The country of nearly 1.2 billion people is believed to have one of the
world's biggest private gold hoards estimated at up to 15,000 tons.
Traders say many Indians who purchase gold for weddings and other
festive occasions and also as stores of wealth are hoping to buy more
gold once prices come down, although they add they may face a long
wait.



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Taiwan’s Eslite Bookstore and
Pegatron Cooperate to Make
Fine-Living Products         Date: 3/31/2010


Eslite Bookstore of Taiwan and the PEGA DESIGN team of the
Taiwanese high-tech Pegatron Corporation are collaborating to make
fine-living products.

Taiwan’s Eslite Bookstore is cooperating with the PEGA DESIGN team of
the Taiwanese high-tech Pegatron Corporation to launch 11 Eslite
fine-living products. The chairmen of both companies have officially
announced their collaboration on March 11, hoping to enrich Taiwan’s
cultural and creative industry.

PEGA DESIGN team specially introduced a stapler made of Meng-Zong
bamboos grown in Nantou County of central Taiwan, which can precisely
place staples through infrared rays. Users only need to lightly press the
stapler to turn it on and the infrared ray will accurately project positioning
lines onto the paper for users to staple exactly on where they want to
staple.

The chairman of Eslite Bookstore Ching-You Wu pointed out that what
Eslite would like to express in the cultural and creative fine products
market is the spirit of cherishing and wisely making use of materials and
resources. It also hopes to better the new living aesthetics of the
Chinese-speaking world through providing a creative and marketing
platform.


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Taiwan’s Writing-Tool Maker Rabbit
Industry Corp. Turns 64 and
High-End                     Date: 6/2/2010


As Taiwan’s well-known writing-tool factory, Rabbit Industry Corp., turns 64 years
old this year, it is also transforming itself toward a development line of “tourism
factory” and high-end products.

Taiwan’s well-known writing-tool factory, Rabbit Industry Corp., turns 64 years old
this year. The company chairman, Tang Jing Chuan, has expressed that Rabbit
has been devoted to transforming itself toward a development line of “tourism
factory” and high-end products to raise the products’ added value. In other words,
they will not allow the writing-tool industry to disappear in Taiwan.

Rabbit Industry Corp. was established in 1947, and it originally made wax papers
for typewriters, carbon papers, tacks, and paper clips. The company made its first
ball pen in 1966. This ball pen with “yellow shaft and blue cap” has deeply rooted
into the hearts of Taiwanese people ever since.

Tang also pointed out that 30 years ago, there were more than 10 pencil factories
in Taiwan. The most representative were Rabbit, Liberty Stationery Corp., and
Lion Pencil Co., Ltd. The pencil industry’s annual production value was nearly
NT$200 million (~US$6 million). If ball pens and various writing-tool products are
included, the total value exceeded NT$1 billion (~US$30 million). However, as the
China market rises, Taiwan’s pencil industry is now facing tremendous challenges.
Rabbit thus strives to lead Taiwan’s writing-tool makers to win over the world
market again with its versatile management and enhancement in added value.


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The 2010 Toy Industry Trends:
Innovative, Inexpensive, and
Safe                         Date: 4/14/2010


The most noticeable trends in this year’s American International Toy Fair
were innovative products, inexpensive prices and toys safe to play with.

This year’s American International Toy Fair has successfully taken place
in February in New York’s Javits Convention Center. The CEO of VTech
Electronics William To pointed out that consumers have already
increased spending on toy products. If there are no unexpected
unfavorable tidings, the outlook of toy industry should be optimistic. The
most noticeable trends in this fair were innovative products, inexpensive
prices and toys safe to play with.

In the fair it was agreed that product prices need to be lowered to attract
more consumers. The focal point of the show were toys that are US$30
or below. For example, the Taiwanese SilverLit’s Jojo the Bunny
(average retail price: US$30) can become a playmate for children for
playing hide-and-seek; Uncle Milton’s Star Wars Science products were
mostly priced around US$12.9 to US$29.9.

Authorized and movie-related toys were all selling well in the fair.
Spaceships and dinosaur toys were also hot items. Toy packaging was
another spotlight of the show. This fair moreover added an
“environmentally friendly toys area,” specially displaying eco-friendly toy
packaging and products. In short, both innovative games and traditional,
non-electronics toys and games were equally eye-catching.

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  The 2010 Toy Industry Trends:
  Innovative, Inexpensive, and Safe
  (Part 2)                      Date: 4/22/2010

For the 2010 toy industry trends, in Part 1, we have already discussed price. Part
2 will report on innovation and safety.

From the American International Toy Fair (AITF) held in February discussed in
Part 1 of this article, we already know that this year’s toy industry trends are
innovative products, inexpensive prices and toys safe to play with. In Part 1, we
have already discussed price. Part 2 will report on innovation and safety.

Toys and Technology

The AITF and “Engaged ! Expo” were actually held together, illustrating the trend
of toy combining with technology. In other words, the innovation in the toy
industry is to combine with technology. Taking “Monopoly” as an example,
besides traditional paper board games, there are also digital code and online
versions designed for gaming machines. New games of Monoply U-Build
(US$19.9) and the Revolution Edition (US$34.9) have just been launched this
year as well.

Safety First

The safety of toys has been paid a lot of attention to in the US, which is also a
main topic of the fair. Starting from February 2010, the related regulations on
improving the safety of consumer goods in the US have been officially
implemented. A marketing director of China Dragon Inspection & Certification
(H.K.) Ltd. expressed that many companies by now already know the importance
of toy safety, and hence most of the toy products are able to pass safety tests.

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The American Charity Gift Cards
Give Regards and a Better World
All at Once                  Date: 2/4/2010


 The American TisBest.org is the first website that offers charity gift cards
 which can give regards and practice virtue at the same time.

 During holidays besides giving solid gifts, buying charity gift cards to give
 to people to donate money to charity groups can make the holidays even
 more meaningful.

 The American TisBest.org is the first website that offers charity gift cards.
 Card buyers can select all kinds of card designs and deposit 10 to 5000
 US dollars of donation amount. When the card acceptor receives the
 card, he can go to the card website to choose the charity group he wants
 to donate the money to.

 TisBest.org’s charity gift cards can donate among 250 charity groups,
 including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
 and the United Nations Children’s Fund. The website founder Erik Marks
 points out that many people really do not need any more new things
 during holidays. Giving a charity gift card can allow the card acceptor to
 decide which charity group to make the donation, which is both
 respectable and practicing virtue.

 TisBest.org’s charity gift cards have been well received ever since they
 are launched. Not only many charity groups have expressed interest in
 joining the website, more and more charity-oriented websites, such as
 “Charity Navigator,” “Charity Choice,” “Network for Good,” have also
 started to sell charity gift cards.

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    Toy-Makers Look to Tech, Green
    Materials                   Date: 3/10/2010


The top U.S. toy fair--the American International Toy Fair--took place this year on
February 14 in New York and especially featured high-tech and green toys.

From Mattel's "Puppy Tweets" linking pets to a Twitter feed to biodegradable nursery
toys, toy-makers are focusing on fun technology and green materials to win sales in
2010.

The top U.S. toy fair took place in New York on February 14, with an eye to selling
retailers on the best playthings for the year. With the country slowly emerging from
recession, toy-makers still focused on value.

"There isn't a sweet spot per se. The emphasis is on value more than price," said NPD
analyst Anita Frazier.

"You will see the manufacturers emphasize how much play time or value the kid gets
out of the toy and then talk about the amazing price associated with that play value,"
she said.

U.S. toy retail sales fell less than 1 percent in 2009 after a disastrous 2008, according
to market research firm NPD Group. Toy makers will pull out all the stops to keep that
momentum going.


Smaller rival Hasbro is putting a twist on the classics, like a new Scrabble word game
that lets players shuffle electronic cubes rather than using wooden tiles on a game
board.

Scrabble Flash Cubes contain "Smart Tile Technology" which recognizes words
formed when the letters are placed side by side and keeps score of correctly spelt
words.
Hasbro is also celebrating the 75th anniversary of Monopoly by re-launching the
game with a round playing board and an electronic console that features sound
effects and song clips including "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang and "Drive My
Car" by the Beatles.

U.S.-based Wowwee touted "Paper Jamz," an electric guitar made of cardboard
that produces music from touch-sensitive electronic sensors hidden under its
surface.

The tech-savvy emphasis is here to stay as toy-makers benefit from linking an
established brand name to newer technologies like social networking, already
popular among children, said Elizabeth Komes, Associate Publisher of
Playthings Magazine.

Customers are also often willing to pay higher prices for these toys, she noted.

Toy Fair also featured a "green" pavilion for environmentally friendly toys for the
first time.

Reyne Rice, trend specialist for the Toy Industry Association, said about 25
percent of retail buyers at last year's event wanted to see more "eco-friendly"
products.

Toys made from organic cotton, bamboo or other organic materials are safer for
children and could eliminate or reduce huge testing costs associated with
playthings, Komes said.

While bigger players like Mattel and Hasbro are not prominent in this space, they
are becoming increasingly "green" in choosing their packaging material.

Toy-maker WHAM-O Inc is working with Colorado-based Sprig Toys to make a
line of preschool products out of biodegradable materials.

Plush toy-maker Hosung, known for its miYim organic toy line, has partnered
with famed anthropologist Jane Goodall to design an alternative to chemically
treated toys.
 Lesser-known game-maker TDC Games even offered puzzles that have
 flower seeds embedded in each piece.

 But being eco-friendly comes with a price as many of these raw materials
 are often more expensive.

 More traditional toys were also in the spotlight with Hasbro marking the
 50th anniversary of its "Play-Doh Fun Factory."

 Mattel is betting big on its World Wrestling Entertainment line with figures
 like "Triple H" and "The Undertaker" already attracting buzz. The toys are
 priced between US$10 and US$25.

 The world's biggest toy-maker also unveiled a new doll under its "I can
 be" Barbie range. It gave fans a chance to choose the 125th career of the
 iconic doll which made its debut 51 years ago.




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US$671 Million Worth of
Mother’s Day Cards Sold in the
US                           Date: 5/26/2010


Americans spent US$671 million on Mother’s Day cards this year.

Many believe that greeting cards are an undying industry, because when
people don’t have much money to buy gifts, they can still spend a little on
cards.

Although electronic cards are becoming increasingly popular nowadays,
greeting card companies have pointed out that people send electronic
cards only for less important holidays and occasions. Americans still buy
7 billion paper cards each year but only send 500 million e-cards. To
meet the challenge presented by e-cards, well-known greeting card
companies like Hallmark and American Greetings have both launched
their own e-card websites, allowing viewers to send free e-cards while
encouraging them to pay for better e-cards.

Greeting card companies have also been using novel ideas to urge
people to buy “hardcopy” cards. For example, some cards can record
voice messages of the sender. Hallmark has even introduced a new card
that when it is displayed in front of a webcam, the computer screen will
show 3D cartoon characters to give the receiver blessings. American
Greetings on the other hand has released a US$20 card which is
equipped with a liquid-crystal-display screen. The card can save up to 50
pieces of digital photos with musical melodies.


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