Like any business community, the toy industry has always had
its mavericks. They can be at time charming
and edgy, aggressive, creative and usually successful. It thought about our mavericks as I read
David Brooks’ article, “The Romantic Advantage.” Though they are at times
greeted with a certain amount of wariness, according to how I read Brooks, they
are the embodiment of what creates American brands. Take this quote from the Brooks article:
effective brands is not just thinking like a low-end capitalist, only more so.
It is an entirely different mode of thought.
of Ralph Lifshitz longing to emulate WASP elegance and creating the Ralph
Lauren brand. Think of the young Stephen Gordon pining for the graciousness of
the Adirondack lodges and creating Restoration Hardware. Think of Nike’s mythos
around the ideal of athletic perseverance.
who create great brands are usually seeking to fulfill some inner longing of
their own, some dream of living on a higher plane or with a cooler circle of
I am not suggesting that we go up and give these people a
big hug. I am suggesting, however, that
we accept that they disrupt, radicalize and reinvent the toy industry and that
is an ultimate good. Any industry needs
to be disturbed by its own citizens; if not, someone or something from the