I, as many of you, attended Toy Fair Dallas, the new name for the Dallas Fall Toy Preview. It was a good year for retailer attendance as Wal-Mart, Target, BJ's, Hobby Lobby, and Amazon showed up as did several other prominent retailers.
What continues to be missing, however, are some of our major toy companies. Hasbro, Mattel, Lego, MGA, Bandai, Funrise, JAKKS, and Spin Master were all absent, and that means brands like Fisher-Price, American Girl, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Nerf, My Little Pony, Transformers, LOL Surprise, Air Hogs, Gund and others were absent as well.
As Los Angeles grows in October as a destination for toy buyers and sellers, it will be interesting to see if The Toy Association gets out in front of the migration and changes Toy Fair Dallas to Toy Fair Los Angeles or works out a schedule that accommodates both buyers and manufacturers. Going to both Dallas and Los Angeles is expensive both in terms of time and money.
On another note: I was again surprised at the small number of people who take advantage of some of the informational seminars available during one of our industry’s top tradeshows. This year in Dallas, The Toy Association had a series of highly articulate speakers who presented extremely relevant material.
The location was easy to find (right in the middle of the 13th floor), there was plenty of space available for additional attendees, and the content was, again, top-notch.
The world is in a period of chaotic change, and our need for education is more crucial than ever. Yes, the show is for buying and selling. It is, however, also a place to learn.
What can we do to get more people to take advantage of our industry’s educational seminars? Do you attend these events at our shows? If you do or don't, let us know why. Please share your thoughts.