The Toy Highway beckons. What is the Toy Highway? It is the name I coined for the sometime arduous, sometimes boring but endlessly necessary trip that many of us take each year in our pursuit of toy industry knowledge, contacts and sales. Maybe I read Jack Kerouac's On The Road a few too many times but it seems to fit the experience.
My highway, like many of yours, starts in this week Dallas for the Fall Toy Preview and ends in New York for Toy Fair in February. In between, I am off next week to Shanghai for the China Toy Expo and China Kids Expo. In November I visit the Chicago Toy and Game Fair and the T&G Inventor Con. January finds me heading to the Hong Kong Toy and Game Fair (I am speaking at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on the January 10 if you are in the neighborhood). In early February, that busiest of months has me traveling to Nuremberg for the Spielwarenmesse Toy Fair and while there I will be speaking at the Global Toy Conference (GTC) 2012 that will be taking place concurrently with the Fair. Later in the month I will be in New York for Toy Fair.
What I like best about traveling the Toy Highway is those who travel with me. We are in a way nomads, traveling from place to place. We see each other at breakfast, on trains, planes, in hotel lobbies and in airport waiting areas. We are not always a pretty sight and sometimes we are a sight (believe me, no one looks good after sixteen hours in the air). Seeing these faces, however, can be comforting when in exotic locales and constantly reassuring that the industry is strong, that we are all back and that we are in motion.
Not all of you take the entire highway and some of you may have stops that I do not make. Whatever the case, I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones along the way. See you on the highway.