Toy production in South Korea is beginning to boom. This is a result of several?
Toy production in South Korea is beginning to boom. This is a result of several factors -- a world-wide increase in leisure time in developed countries which has increased the demand for toys; proposed reduced customs tariffs on toys by the developed countries; and financial encouragement for the toy industry by the South Korean Government. To date, it has been a "cottage industry" producing simple wood, plastic and stuffed toys for the home market. Now, however, the manufacturers are aiming at increasing considerably their tiny share of the international market -- and VISNEWS cameraman Lee Kyung Mo toured the toy factories to see just how the industry is progressing.
SYNOPSIS: A department store in Seoul, South Korea -- and a display window filled with toys tells the story of the country's booming toy industry. A year ago, plans were drawn up to expand what was very much of a cottage industry. It still is, but exports have risen considerably and new factories are about to introduce modern production-line methods.
It is in small, cottage factories like this where the toy boom began. Simplicity has been the key-note of production so far -- stuffed animals and toys made of wood, plastic and fabric. These toys will continue to be the backbone of the industry, but in much greater numbers. Several factors are involved in the boom -- but principally, there are two main reasons. The first is an increasing world-wide demand for toys in the developed countries, caused by more leisure time and spending money. Secondly, a proposed reduction in customs duty on toys by the developed countries. And thirdly, financial encouragement for the industry by the South Korean Government itself. To help build up the industry, the Government has provided over a million pounds (sterling) in aid for giant new factory complexes, and the larger manufacturing groups in the country are also beginning to expand into toys -- bringing with them fresh capital, and manufacturing and marketing expertise.
Last year, toy production increased by about 55 per cent. Now, it seems, all records are about to be broken in the drive towards making toys a major industry, able to compete with any in the world.