Manga's Blog

Year in Review

The flight back from Hong Kong Toy Fair gave me plenty of time to contemplate this past year.  As the year progressed, there were signs of economic “challenges” in Canada.  Even with these challenges, it was a very positive year for Outset Media.

Here is a list of my top four highlights and two biggest concerns from this past year:

Highlight #1 - Revenue Growth

My New Year's Resolution

It has been a long time since I last blogged.  A very long time!  It was over 20 months ago, or 628 days to be more precise.  The topic was our first acquisition, which was a board game called Telepaths.

Our sales grew over 30% last year.  Managing that size of growth is challenging.  And not only did we grow, we introduced a robust selection of new games and puzzles, we began planning our move to a new larger warehouse, and we grew our staff too.  In other words, we were busy!

Move over Mattel… we have made our first acquisition!

In the world of mergers and acquisitions, this certainly won’t make the newspapers.  BUT… it is our first acquisition… and I am excited!

Mattel acquires MEGA Brands

This is not breaking news.  Several weeks ago, Mattel announced that it had acquired MEGA Brands for $460 million.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

My apologies for the late blog posting regarding this year’s NY Toy Fair.  The tradeshow wrapped up exactly two weeks ago.  It is just sooooooo hard to find a spare moment to think – let alone write a blog posting – during the hectic post tradeshow craziness.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was a 1960s western starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach.  The movie follows three gunslingers competing to find a buried Confederate treasure.  The film is arguably the best and most iconic “Spaghetti Western” ever filmed.

Why we exhibit in Nuremberg

This was the second consecutive year we have exhibited at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair.  Between appointments and people meandering into our booth, I did have ample time to reflect on why we are exhibiting in Nuremberg.

Toy store in the Munich airport

While en route to the Nuremberg International Toy Fair, I had some spare time to pass at the airport in Munich.  So, I decided to check out the airport’s toy store.

The love affair that Germans have with card games and board games is well known.  What first struck me on entering the store, was how true this is.  Beside the entrance on both sides of the doorway were racks of card games (there were a total of four large spinning racks).  And right in the centre of the store, in what would be considered the prime retail location, was a huge selection of board games.

It's A Wrap at the CGTA

Another January has passed, and so has another CGTA Spring tradeshow.  Here are my thoughts:

Try a NEW card game today

This should come as no surprise - I like playing card games.  In my personal life, I probably spend more time playing card games than board games.

As someone working in the game distribution industry, I tend to view all card games as falling into one of two categories:

The Best Toy Awards in Canada

The effectiveness of toy awards has been a topic of discussion around our office for many years. Yes, awards can certainly help boost sales. But how effective are they really? There are so many toy awards out there, it can become confusing to parents and grandparents.

Like most things in life – there are the good ones and there are the bad ones. Some toy awards have very little impact on sales. However, a select few toy awards do have a great impact on sales. I suspect much of their effectiveness (or lack thereof) comes down to testing methodology.

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