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Matt Nuccio. "The Times They are a Changin."

Toy & Family Entertainment, Aug. 2010

I just celebrated my 18th consecutive New York Toy Fair, although I have been to many more. I grew up in the design-end of the toy business and had helped out at a few Toy Fairs here and there in high school and college. Back then I was cutting comps, painting decos and building out showrooms in the old Toy Building. It was a bustling time. An exciting time. Things moved fast and showrooms were packed. Today it is different. The past few years I have seen less and less people attend the New York show, but New York is not alone. I have also seen less people at the Hong Kong and Nuremberg shows too. It would seem shows are far less necessary. As an outsource development company we see the trends as they happen. These days companies are meeting with retailers more and more outside of the shows. A few years ago there seemed to be a buying season; today we are preparing presentations, prototypes and packaging comps for sales meeting all year long. Today you can email a buyer an entire presentation rather than travel thousands of miles. Do the shows serve a purpose? For me the shows are a good way to see clients face-to-face and chat with the buyers. The shows, especially New York, are far more important to the small guys then to the big guns. I see this as a good thing. It gives the start-ups and small to mid-size companies face time with buyers, reps, media and designers. They don't have to worry about the big guys getting in their way. After all, companies like Mattel, Spin Master and Jakks did their own shows way back in October.

To them New York Toy Fair is a media event. For now the shows still have a use. Let’s see what holds true in 5 years. Maybe I’ll see you then…

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