AAFK @ HeyJoy, Guangzhou

At HeyJoy, Guangzhou, our first art toy shot in China went off with a memorable bang! While we've attended smaller events and markets before, the reaction in China was nothing we have experienced in Macau.

Since this was our very first toy-exclusive show in China, we were feeling a mixture of emotions: Excitement, anticipation, anxiety, and maybe even a bit of nervousness. We were excited and we were anticipating our new adventure, but also anxious and a little nervous that the crowd there wouldn't like our stuff. Still, we packed our Moe Joe and Bare Time blind boxes and a one-off hand painted Moe Joe Moshi, and hoped for the best! And we must say, meeting some of the best toy designers out there and seeing how the crowd's reaction to our stuff first hand was not only fun but also extremely valuable. Our anxiety quickly gave way to full on enjoyment as we soaked in the friendship, warm welcome, and all the learning opportunities we gained from this experience.

We arrived the day before to set up our stall, and we’ve already begun making friends with our super talented and friendly neighbors. We even made some sales before the day of the actual event! It wasn’t until the very first day that we realized where we were. We were completely unprepared for the overwhelming positive feedbacks and passion that the Chinese crowd has for art toys. The show not only had people lining up since midnight, but as soon as the gates opened, people were running in like it was Black Friday in the states.

Even though the scene was chaotic, we still had the time and chance to go around and check out other stands to say hi and talk to the art toy makers there. We couldn’t waste this opportunity to see what other people were doing with their stuff, and it’s incredible! Such amazing work, range of styles, quality, creativity, and stories! Other than taking the time to showcase our products, one of the most valuable things we found in these activities was to get to know the community, interact with them, and get inspired by their passion and work.

Long story short, it was amazing! Lots of people came to check us out, take photos, speak with us, and they were truly digging our concept! People were curious about the traditional Cantonese stories on our prints and other merch. They’re also really digging the fusion of cultures and the stories we used for inspiration. Not long after starting the show, the blind boxes started to fly! By 3pm on the last day, we were completely sold out!

It was such a surprising and we are so thankful for this experience. We had a spectacular time and we’ve learned so much! Next stop: HeyJoy, Chengdu on May 29th! We’ve got more things up our sleeves, and are fully geared and ready to rock up some fresh stuff! Stay tuned for updates!

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