From the mouths of toy buyers: there is no hot item to drive toy traffic this year – no Zhu Zhu Pets gotta-have-it line, no 'it' item like TMX Elmo to create stampedes. This creates an opening for some exceptional entrepreneurs who might still be able to deliver goods this year.
One such extraordinary individual and company of note has done just that. 70 days ago they noticed a crowded kiosk in a local suburban 3rd tier market that sold – get this – in middle-America yet, hermit crabs. Live, sticky, creepy, but cute (I guess?) hermit crabs. Do you know how many of these crustaceans are sold as pets each year in the US alone? 40 million! Who knew? Un-freakin-believable!
So they flew to China, lived in the factory for 40 days and 40 nights, and developed a toy based on this unique and unlikely insight. Miraculously, 70 days later finished goods were landed. Appointments were quickly made with major retailers, the product presented (retailers love it), and orders placed for every piece that can be produced and shipped between now and Christmas.
Goods that were not even conceived of 90 days ago will be on shelf mid-October of this year. This should be a 2013 item, or a last-minute entry for 2012, but no, they get it on-shelf only months after its creation. This is a miracle, Christmas or otherwise – impossible, and yet true.
No industry moves as fast as the toy industry. And no industry creates so much innovation, mechanical and electronic, each year for such low prices and for such great value as the toy industry.
Kudos and congratulations to you all. This innovation is essential to the life of our industry.