Name of Recipient:
Mr. Alan Seow
For children, playtime is one of the most integral parts of childhood development. With each different toy, it has a different effect on a child, fostering them in their physical, mental, and emotional, and social development. For Play Toys, they are committed to providing only quality and innovative educational toys, which are optimized to enhance mind development and stimulate creative in children of all ages.
Established in 2002 by Mr. Alan Seow, Play Toys Pte Ltd specializes in the import, export, wholesale, and the retail of educational toys. With the strong belief that good toys should create educational value but still be fun to play with, Play Toys houses a wide range of educational toys under their product range such as science kits, mind games, wooden educational games, as well as other general toys.
In addition to their repertoire of educational toys, Play Toys has also brought in a range of yesteryear games, with items such as Five Stones, Kuti Kuti, spinning tops, pick up sticks, and more. Not only are these items popular with customers nostalgic for the past, Play Toys has also supplied these yesteryear games to the People’s Association (PA) every year for their Kampong Games segment at the various events they host.
For the founder, establishing Play Toys has allowed him to provide the children with what they did not often enjoy when they were children themselves. Alan said, “Maybe when I was young, I did not have toys to play. So now, I want to provide the good and useful toys. Not ‘brainless’ toys where children don’t utilize their thinking and creative skills when they are playing them.”
With the abundance of toyshops and distributors in Singapore, setting up Play Toys in Singapore naturally presented some challenges for Alan. Alan explained, “Definitely there were difficulties when we first started, as there were plenty of competitors in this industry. Nowadays, quite a number of them have closed down due to rising operating costs.”
“Also, previously I was not in this industry. Therefore, when Play Toys first started, there was a steep learning curve for me. For example, I would bring in products that did not sell. From there, I had to learn and observe, to see which products are more likely to be in demand, before I actually bring them in.”
In addition, with the emergence of technology and gadgets, it has impacted the toys industry as well. Alan said, “In recent time, smartphones and tablets have been becoming very popular with the people. They can now find games within the app stores, and play it straight from their gadgets. This has cause the toys industry to shrink, as more people are playing with their gadgets than with toys.”
To counter these problems, Alan is moving Play Toys onto an online platform, where their customers can order educational toys online. They are also currently considering the idea of a mobile app for their customers, who will then be able to browse through their wide catalogue with convenience. However, they are adamant that they will continue to stay true to their original intent, and retail only toys of a hands-on nature.
Fortunately, Play Toys already occupies an advantageous position in the industry through their items. Alan said, “We have exclusive items that are imported from the US, which you will not find on shelves in Singapore. Also, some of our products are brought in from their factory source, which means we are able to get them at a lower price. We are then able to pass on these savings to our customers, and they get it from us at a better price too.”
With more than thirteen years experience as an entrepreneur, Alan reflected that they have learnt much during this period. He said, “One of the most important lessons we learnt was to think twice when we are bringing in goods. When I first started, it was really a bad experience, and almost 50% of some products was stuck on the shelves. Hence we learnt how to identify customer’s needs, and to observe the trends to see what items would sell best.”
“Also, company culture and spirit is very important. All the staff members in the office have to work hand in hand as a family. For us, we treat them as colleagues, not just my staff, and we work together, much like a family.”
With the success Play Toys has enjoyed, Alan is eager to venture into new territories in the toy and games industry. He said, “We are thinking of getting into other areas, such as games which will be useful to both kids and adults, such as physiotherapy games which can be useful for people aged from 3-99.”
As they constantly source for quality and innovative toys and games, Play Toys has proven themselves worthy as frontrunners in this industry. Under Alan’s leadership, Play Toys looks poised to remain head and shoulders above their competitors for the years to come.
10 Kaki Bukit Avenue 4 #05-70
Premier @ Kaki Bukit S(415874)
T| 6782 0056
F| 6743 0042