Mirroring the auto salons for real cars, there is also a Hong Kong Toy Car Salon (HKTCS) which has been held since 2021. An initiative spearheaded by the Hong Kong Model Car Interactive Information Platform, HKTOYCAR, it is orchestrated under the stewardship of Market Hubs.
Platform for model car aficionados
The aim of the Toy Car Salon is to foster interaction amongst a global consortium of brands, licensors, and buyers, thereby stimulating cross-industry collaboration. Concurrently, it serves to facilitate a platform for car aficionados across the globe to acquaint themselves with a myriad of model car, figurine, and diorama brands.
The 2023 edition will be held from September 22 – 24 and is expected to have original model cars, figures, and dioramas from many countries and regions, including Hong Kong, Macao, Mainland China, Japan, the USA, Germany, Thailand, and Indonesia.
AI as annual theme
The third HKTCS has taken artificial intelligence (AI) as its annual theme, pioneering the use of AI to generate 34 diverse AI racers to act as event ambassadors. This is hoped to encourage the industry to intensify its application of AI.
The 34 AI racers, designed and generated with the help of ChatGPT, Mid Journey, Stable Diffusion, and Adobe Firefly, each don different attire and no two are identical.
This echoes the diverse backgrounds of model car enthusiasts and their knack for creating unique stories through model cars. The AI racers will be tasked with promoting the HKTCS both locally and internationally.
HKTCS 2023 will feature participation from many global brands including MINI GT, Tarmac Works, INNO64, POP RACE, BM Creations, Schuco, Spark, Ignition Model, Hobby Japan, Tiny HK, Nanoer, Subtle Dreams, and Xcartoys.
More application scenarios
“After the Metaverse and NFT themes of last year, this year’s Toy Car Salon will focus on artificial intelligence. Beyond text and images, we hope to offer more application scenarios for exhibitors to try. Using artificial intelligence in design can significantly save time and cost; sometimes a sudden flash of inspiration can be quickly expressed in images, offering designers more creative possibilities,” said Lierence Li, curator of Hong Kong Toy Car Salon 2023 and MD of Market Hubs.
“The Toy Car Salon combines exhibitions and marketplace. Apart from retail, it provides an excellent platform for different copyright holders, car manufacturers, and model car brands from around the world to negotiate cooperation. Buyers and retailers from various countries and regions, including Brazil and Indonesia, have already confirmed their visit in September,” said Mr. Li, forecasting that visitor count could exceed last year’s 13,000.
Shortage of venues
He added that the shortage of medium and small-sized exhibition venues in Hong Kong could lead the event to move to other cities in the Greater Bay Area, like Macao and Shenzhen, or even to markets in ASEAN countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.