I started buying toys in bulk in 1990. At that time, China was not the main toys manufacturing hub…it was…Taiwan. The Taiwanese toy factories were producing good quality toys at reasonable prices. It was only in the early 1990’s that toy factories from Taiwan started moving to China mainland. It is safe to say that China became the world’s toys manufacturing center in 1995.
It was clear to me that if I wanted to be successful at buying toys in bulk from China toy factories, I should learn to speak Mandarin. I did. I started by taking a Mandarin course in University, and I then proceeded to improve my Chinese mandarin by studying privately with Chinese Tutors.
Needless to say that during the 25 years that followed, my ability to speak Mandarin has been a huge contributing factor to my success in the toys business.
I started buying toys from China in Yantai, Shandong province from all places. I met a lady in Canton fair from Yantai, and I realized she is very clever and very capable, so I decided to follow her to Yantai and that is where I produced my first best selling toy, a set of building blocks called Instant Blox, or Ideal Blox.
Some of the things were tragic, and a little funny, at the same time. When I came to inspect my first container of building blocks, I noticed most of the gift boxes, (the individual packaging), were opening up, as they were not glued properly. This is what the manager of the printing factory had to say: “I know the glue is not good, and the boxes are opening, but…so far, no one has complained”.
Seems funny now, but I was really boiling. I quickly realized that while Yantai is a nice coastal city with a port and nice people, it is not a qualified area for toys production. The manufacturing area in China for toys was and still is Guangdong province, So I got on a plane, and flew Yantai to Beijing, and then Beijing to….Shantou.
Shantou is one of the largest cities in Guangdong province, but actually, it is not really Shantou that is the main toy manufacturing hub…it is….Chenghai.
Chenghai produces 68% of all the toys sold on the planet! But because Chenghai is hard to say, hard to read and hard to pronounce, everyone refers to made in Chenghai toys as made in Shantou. (Chenghai is a suburb of Shantou).
Chenghai is a small geographical area about 20 min drive from Shantou, and most people have never heard of it, including Chinese people. I heard about it, ironically, from my Taiwan supplier.
Once I started to get to know Chenghai, I discovered a city full of very sharp people with high IQ, hard working and a natural talent for business.
And the rest is history. If you want to buy toys in bulk, and pay low wholesale prices, you need to head to Chenghai.
You can go to Hong Kong toy fair every January and try to find good toy suppliers…what you will find….is hundreds of Chenghai trading companies there.
You can go to Guangzhou fair, known as the Canton fair, and you will discover the same thing: Chenghai toy factories and suppliers are all over the fair.
Last but not least is the Yiwu wholesale toys market. Huge indoor market with millions of different toys on display, available at wholesale prices; But once again there is no way to escape Chenghai, many of the toys you will find in Yiwu come from Chenghai, specifically the more advanced technology toys, like remote control toys and rc drones.
Conclusion: If you buy toys in bulk, and want to get the best wholesale prices and good quality toys, go to Chenghai in the Shantou area. There can be no doubt that Chenghai is the major toys manufacturing hub, supplying toys to the whole world. In fact, Chenghai has a nick name, it is called “toy city”. A one of a kind city in the world, where almost every building is a toys factory, and almost every vehicle on the road is going to or from a toy factory, and a city where 9 people out of 10 are involved one way or another in the production and sales of wholesale toys.
Chenghai is located about 4 hours north of Hong Kong, or a quick 40 min flight. People in Chenghai can speak Mandarin, but between themselves they speak the local language called Chaoshanese.
So now that you know all about how to find the best wholesale toys suppliers in China, I will offer you the most important advice:
No need to go to China, and NO need to go to Chenghai. Just browse the list of Chinese Wholesale Toy Suppliers right here on this site, you will find a comprehensive database of Chenghai toy factories and trading companies, offering the newest and best toys for sale, with China direct shipments, at rock bottom low wholesale prices!