"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."
I was sitting with some toy industry veterans at PlayCon when they began talking about the "old days" and the amazing changes they had all seen over the course of their careers. After the conversation ended, I looked around the room and it occurred to me that the younger people I saw would be veterans in 30 years. What would they and their friends think of the "old days" (in other words now) and what changes would they have seen?
I decided it would be fun to engage in a mental exercise and think through what changes will amaze these toy industry citizens when they look back at 2018 from the perspective of the 2048? Here are some predictions:
- They will ponder the fate of War-Mart and Amazon, once so powerful, and now bypassed by new, quicker, more innovative competitors.
- There will be so many diverse ways to sell toys to consumers that they will think it is absolutely crazy that there was a time when there was only three major toy companies selling to three major retailers.
- There will be so many women in upper management that they will be amazed that an organization named Women In Toys was actually needed.
- There will no longer be a concept of "out of stock" and will be amused that consumers had the patience to go to the store and not find what they wanted.
- Order fulfillment will be so quick that their younger co-workers will be astonished that consumers once had to wait, sometimes days, to receive the products they purchased.
- Their younger co-workers will ask them: "What was Toys R Us? And why was the R backwards?
- They will be nostalgic for a time when the US was the biggest consumer market in the world while taking pleasure in the revenues they are pulling in from China and other Asian countries.
- Their younger compatriots will find it hard to believe that at one time virtually all movie and character licenses originated in the United States.
- They will be discomforted by younger co-workers who no longer carry smart phones and tablets but have technology implanted in their bodies.
- Salespeople, working in the back seat of their self-driving cars, will think briefly about how much time they lost while at the wheel.
- Generation X'ers will be horrified that Baby Boomers, now in their 90's, are still working.
- But they will take great pleasure in the fact that everyone, their children,parents, grandparents, great grandparents and great great grandparents all love to play with toys.
I am very interested in hearing what changes you see coming in the next thirty years?