Manga's Blog

New York Toy Fair Review

It was our 17th consecutive year exhibiting at NY Toy Fair.  I couldn’t actually recall how many times we had exhibited at the show, but fortunately show management provides ribbons that indicate how many years each company has been exhibiting.  Quite handy little ribbons!

Should you attend Nuremberg Toy Fair

After my most recent blog, two retailers called and asked me if they should be attending Nuremberg Toy Fair.  After getting over the shock that two retailers actually read my blog, I thought about their question.  It is an interesting one.  Here are my thoughts. 

Firstly, the official name of Nuremberg Toy Fair is Spielwarenmesse - which doesn’t really roll off the tongue - hence I will continue to refer to the tradeshow as Nuremberg Toy Fair.

Nuremberg Toy Fair Review

This was our 6th consecutive year exhibiting at the Nuremberg Toy Fair.  It finally feels like we are making some significant progress on the international side of our business.

We exhibit at 8 tradeshows in Canada and 21 tradeshows in the United States.  At these tradeshows, the goal is to meet with retailers, and show them our board games and puzzles.  But Nuremberg Toy Fair is different for us.  At this tradeshow, we are only interested in meeting with distributors (rather than retailers) as it isn’t economically feasible to ship to individual retailers outside North America.

Mission Statement

Proofing our catalogue doesn’t rank near the top of my fun list, but is something we need to do every year.  While we have a team of excellent people working on the catalogue, I still feel the need to give it a thorough proofing before sending it to press.  This year, something I saw really got me thinking.

Retail is Dead

Over the last couple of years, there have been many articles written about how conventional retail is dead.  Some journalists claim it’s only a matter of time before bricks and mortar stores become redundant.  Pundits will point to the recent closing of all Sears locations in Canada as proof that this is indeed happening.

So retail is dead!  And everyone may as well start closing their stores.

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


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