games

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!

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.

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).

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.

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.

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:

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.

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