Manga's Blog

Hong Kong Toy Fair Review

We just returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Hong Kong Toy Fair.  There must be something about me and travelling to Hong Kong, as once again the flight to Hong Kong was delayed, this time for 4 hours in Vancouver.  But I think it builds up the anticipation and excitement!  Plus, after reading toy expert Richard Gottlieb’s blog and his delay at JFK airport for 18 hours, my delay doesn’t sound so bad (even though there was another 3 hour delay on the return trip).

Big Changes Coming to Outset

The New Year is always a good time for resolutions.  One resolution should probably be to blog a little more often.  Last year, I managed only two postings.  But with today’s blog, we have already tied last year’s number… and it’s only the 11th of January.

But this blog isn’t about resolutions - it’s about big changes happening at Outset - and there are indeed a lot of big changes coming to Outset this year.  Changes that will help our company keep growing.  Here is a list of the top four changes for 2018:

2017 Year in Review

The long flight to Hong Kong Toy Fair every January is always a good time to reflect on the past year.  Here is a list of my top four highlights from 2017:

Highlight #1 - Revenue Growth

Mel Bolen

This past December, four days before Christmas, Madeline Bolen passed away.   Better known to her friends and family as Mel, she was the entrepreneur behind Victoria’s book retailer Bolen Books.

Mel played an important role in the history of Outset Media.  She was our first customer!

2016 Year in Review

Just returned from our annual trip to the toy fair in Hong Kong.  On my way to Hong Kong, with a 4 hour layover in Vancouver followed by an 8 hour maintenance delay, I had plenty of time to contemplate this past year.  Here is a list of my top four highlights from 2016:

Highlight #1 - Warehouse & Showroom Grand Opening

An Unbelievable 35 Months

Back in June of 2013, we began an exhilarating streak of 35 consecutive monthly sales records… and let me say, it was one interesting journey!  There were some months where the record wasn’t broken until the last day.  It made for some nail-biting times.

As month after month of record sales began to accumulate, I often wondered how I would feel when the streak did come to an end.  We always knew it would happen some day - to expect record sales every month is simply not realistic in the long term.

TaG Central Review

Approximately two weeks ago, suppliers and retailers got together in a hotel near Pearson International Airport for a three-day mini tradeshow.  It was the third running of TaG Central, a biannual event held in Toronto.

TaG Central is a non-profit association of toy and game manufacturers and distributors. Established in the wake of the cancellation of the Canadian Toy Fair, TaG Central borrows its model from the highly successful Drummondville Toy Show.

Patch Products rebrands to PlayMonster

For those of you who missed NY Toy Fair this year, there was some interesting news from Patch Products.  The company has rebranded.  Henceforth, the company will be named PlayMonster.

A Brief History of Patch Products

New York Toy Fair Review

This was our 15th consecutive year exhibiting at NY Toy Fair!

Time has gone by so fast - it sure doesn’t seem like 15 years ago that we wheeled our portable booth into the Javits Center.  I can remember feeling excited of course, but also a little nervous too!  We had already been selling into the Canadian market for five years, and this was the start of our expansion into the United States.

NPD data for 2015, toy sales are up

Earlier this year, I blogged about the revenue growth at Outset.  My exact words were, “we know that the market for board games and puzzles didn’t grow by 30%”.  While that statement is true - thanks to the NPD Group we now know exactly how the industry performed in 2015.

Pages

Subscribe to Manga's Blog