Then – Winter 2001 through a snow globe. The Toy Center, north and south. The connecting bridge with the Toy Hall of Fame lining its walls. Betty James is the newest honoree (her company invented and marketed the SLINKY!). The FlatIron Building, a beacon of ingenuity pointing right to the Toy Center as if to say, “this way to Toy Fair!” For so many years the beating heart and soul of our industry.
I was so lucky to witness that era, so fortunate to experience Toy Fair as the TWO WEEK extravaganza it was. Showrooms spruced up as the Broadway sets they would be for that fortnight, elaborate displays of the toys to come and of the best foods New York had to offer to buyers and sellers working long days together to cement the coming year’s business. What excitement and promise. Bratz by MGA the Toy of the Year, Barbie has fallen from her throne. Monopoly’s style # changing from #9 to # E000090790 marking the industry’s continued turn from simplicity to variety, creativity and maturity.
And now, the Toy Building, where Couch Potatoes were cultivated, and Cabbage Patch Kids were birthed is the beautiful home of Eataly and fabulous offices. The Toy Building North now 1 Madison Square with multi million $$$ apartments. And at 212 Fifth Avenue aptly, Jeff Bezos looking down over it all from his 3-floor penthouse in the sky. The neighborhood a wonder of shops, restaurants, walking malls. Toy Fair itself, now a trade show compressed into three short days at the Javits Center, or even a “virtual” event caused by the caution dictated by a global virus. L.O.L Surprise! By MGA the Toy of the Year. Electronics abound, STEM, STEAM, ingenuity, quality, eco-consciousness, a new generation of thinkers and entrepreneurs have emerged to guide the industry along. Brands are “evergreen”, but themes and products are innovative…and cool!
But in the midst of Toy Fair, in the midst of the tumult, and through the year whether then or now, whether new or old, some toys need to find alternative homes to the massive retail partners the manufacturers enjoy their relationships with. Maybe the factory produced a few too many, the license needs some updating, Barbie needs a new figure, the marketing plan fell a bit short, the weather didn’t cooperate, or a pandemic left sales short. So quietly, as to not diminish the luster of all the fabulous products our industry brings to market, we at FlatIron find those alternative homes, and can direct your products to the secondary markets you sometimes find you need…so please be in touch, read our blogs or write one for us! Let us know you’re an interested toy person. We’d love to talk to you.
Enjoy the Holidays and be safe!