Manga's Blog

Lessons from Lego

It would be difficult to find a child who is not familiar with the iconic Lego building toy.  Lego is one of those ubiquitous brands that transcends cultures around the world.

Lego was founded back in 1932, the brainchild of a Danish carpenter named Ole Kirk Christiansen.  At first, Lego only made wooden toys.  Quality was always important at Lego, even back in those early days – the company was named after the Danish phrase for "play well".  Fifteen years later, the company expanded into plastic toys.  Lego produced its first interlocking plastic bricks in 1949.  The rest is history!

Canadian Toy & Hobby Fair

This past month, the Canadian Toy Association (CTA) hosted the 73rd annual Canadian Toy & Hobby Fair.  The show was held in Hall 4 of the International Centre, located very conveniently near Pearson International Airport.  While the show had relocated from downtown Toronto to the International Centre several years ago, Hall 4 was a new venue for the Canadian Toy & Hobby Fair.

Big-Box Stores Face Possible Death

A recent article in BC Business magazine caught my eye.  The headline boldly stated “BIG-BOX STORES FACE POSSIBLE DEATH”.

Consumer Spending on Toys and Games

In a recent news article published by the financial media company The Motley Fool, it was reported that the amount being spent on traditional toys and board games in the United States had fallen from $85 per person in 1998 to its current level of $60 per person.

Chapter 11 for Fundex

One company I have admired for many years is Fundex.  What impressed me about this company was their consistent branding.  Whether it was their logo, their packaging design, their website, their tradeshow presence and other marketing materials, Fundex kept a consistently professional appearance and appeared to live their motto “Where fun comes first!

And with games like ‘Phase 10’, the second best selling card game next to Uno in their line, Fundex was indeed a company to watch!

Canadian Trivia is back!

Outset Media recently launched the newest installment in our series of Canadian Trivia games.  Every year we release around 5 to 10 new board games and card games, but this game is particularly exciting for me!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the history of Outset Media, I founded the company way back in 1996.  Our first game was called the ‘All Canadian Trivia Board Game’.

We are in the Smithsonian

There are those retail locations – that due to their prestigious name – are places you want your product being sold.  Last month, we finally placed our games into a Smithsonian gift store.  More specifically, ‘American Trivia Family Edition’ board game was placed in the museum shop at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum.

Time to renew my mobile phone

Consumers of BlackBerry phones have been jumping ship to Apple and Samsung in record numbers.  Last week, both investors and the press were quick to jump on the latest sales figures from Research in Motion (RIM).  Some of last week`s headlines were blunt and brutal:

ASTRA Marketplace & Academy 2012

Last week we exhibited at the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy in Baltimore.  It is remarkable how things have changed over the years.  Our first ASTRA was waaaaaay back in 2003, held that year in Broomfield, Colorado.  How time flies!

The floor space has sure increased since our first ASTRA.  Back then, exhibition space was limited to two hotel ballrooms, and I can’t recall anybody having more than an 8’ x 10’ booth.

Magazines and the game industry

Apparently working for a board game company must sound pretty interesting.  When people find out what I do for a living, it usually prompts a whole host of questions.  Have I ever heard of Settlers of Catan?  What is my favorite game?  Did I invent Trivial Pursuit?  What is that game called in that brown box with those pieces and that board?  But the two questions I get asked the most often are:

Do people really still buy board games?

Do we sell video games?


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