Nico Blauw Thinks the Toy Industry Got a Little Drunk…He Wants Us to Sober Up

two young guys at the disco

Nico Blauw is President and CEO of BOTI, Ltd., and BOTI Europe, BV. Nico has an impressive resume, having founded BOTI and serving as the CEO of Upper Deck International BV/Upper Deck Europe BV. He is an outspoken advocate for the toy industry.

What a mess we can make of our toy industry from time to time, don’t we? In The Netherlands, a saying, translated into English, goes like this: ‘One’s dead is the other one’s bread.’ Thanks to the world suffering from the covid epidemic, the toy industry was celebrating two unbelievably good years. The sector celebrated so much that it got drunk from consuming the successes. However, the industry forgot that global misery saved us after a couple of bad years—euphoria over reality, ignorance over awareness.

The industry couldn’t stop producing, buyers couldn’t stop ordering, and nobody was listening to sense: One didn’t want to find the stop button; the ‘rush’ felt so good. It would last forever, right? Few realize misery only lasts so long, and so does success. And then suddenly, the industry hit the wall…hard, very hard. Inventory levels in the entire pipeline reached record-high positions. The obsolete inventory industry saw a tsunami of goods, with new lists every other week. Rather than looking in the mirror, the toy industry blamed it on the economy and a potential recession. Huh?!?… Wasn’t misery/recession good for our industry…? No, it was greed, ignorance, and the usual opportunism. A deadly cocktail, but we are only humans, right? 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Then the panic button was hit, and the industry went from right to left. I bet that the amount of money lost in 2023 will balance the profit the industry made in 2021 and 2022. What a waste!

Talking about mess (and ignorance), let’s look closer at our toy associations and trade fair organizers. If we, toy manufacturers/suppliers, would treat our customers the way (some) toy associations and (toy) trade fair organizers currently do…we would be out of business, right? When directors of associations start believing it is all about them, you get the mess we now have in toy trade fairs. Do you know what salary the head of the US TA makes? It’s an unbelievable amount, and of course, that guy (who can blame him) wants to keep his job, and then there is always the old boy’s network that holds it all in place. But this attitude causes anarchy amongst the customers, resulting in the rise of the L.A. Previews in April and September. This is not a protest from us, aka L.A. lovers; it is because we want to service our customers in the best possible way. Rather than finding consensus, the timing of the NYTF is nothing but disrespect to suppliers and customers. Yes, the NYTF is almost sold out, but that is because it was already paid for when the previous NYTF was canceled. Money wasn’t given back to the customer, no…it was reserved for the next show. Now, eat that for breakfast!

P.S. Rumours are NYTF is moving to Las Vegas….at least it is getting closer why not go the extra mile? #toys#toyassociation#toyfair#toyindustry#tradefairs#toynews 34

The opinions contained in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the OPINIONS OF GLOBAL TOY NEWS.

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