Product safety remains top priority of Vietnam toy suppliers

Makers are strengthening their capability to produce competitively priced models that meet international standards.

February 01, 2017

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Makers are strengthening their capability to produce competitively priced models that meet international standards.

Suppliers are offering wooden, plastic and fabric toys that comply with EN 71, ASTM and other international standards. (L-R: Toys from Nam Hoa Trading and Production, Fagi and Veesano)

Amid concerns about product safety, toy manufacturers in Vietnam are enhancing their operations to produce competitively priced models that meet CE, ASTM, EN 71 and other international standards.

Companies manufacturing plastic toys are adopting phthalate-free materials, which are typically sourced overseas. In wooden toys, suppliers are adopting nontoxic finishes.

Among the standards that wooden toy maker Nam Hoa Trading and Production Corp. and plastic toy supplier 3HPlastic JSC follow are EN 71, ASTM and the Japan Toy Safety Standard. Fagi Corp.’s soft toys are tested in accordance with EN 71-1:2005, EN 71-2:2006, ISO 14184-1:1998 and EN 14362-1:2003.

By ensuring they are capable of meeting international requirements, toy suppliers in Vietnam aim to boost the competitiveness of their products not only overseas, but in the domestic market as well.

The domestic market for toys has been expanding as living standards improved, attracting many foreign companies to set up factories in Vietnam. Japan-based Takara Tomy Group, for example, has production facilities in Hai Phong City.

To ensure that their models remain price competitive, a few makers have invested in equipment that will enable them to offer quotes significantly lower than those of counterparts in China, Japan and South Korea.

Competitive advantages

One of the advantages of makers in Vietnam is the availability of raw materials, particularly for wooden toys. Rubberwood, for instance, is sourced mainly from the Southeast region.

Cotton and polyester, the primary options for the cover and filling, respectively, of plush toys are typically procured from companies in Binh Duong province and the cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. PP, meanwhile, is usually procured from Ho Chi Minh City.

Toy suppliers are also able to keep production expenses low because their labor costs are lower compared with those in China and several other manufacturing hubs in Asia. Vietnam’s low labor cost is among the factors that are attracting foreign makers to establish facilities in the country.

The entry of companies with internationally known brands and more advanced technology are viewed by some Vietnam toy makers as an advantage instead of increased competition, as these overseas-based makers can subcontract certain manufacturing stages to local makers and boost the latter’s production.

This article and its contents are providedby the Hinrich Foundation, a partner of Global Sources in promoting trade across Asia. The products and the suppliers featured in this article are export assistance program beneficiaries of the Hinrich Foundation.

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