Dave Manga

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

Nuremberg Review

This was our fourth consecutive year exhibiting at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair.
 
Exhibiting in Nuremberg is an expensive endeavor.  Booth space is pricey - especially in a year where we increased our booth size.  Hotels become ridiculously expensive as thousands of international visitors flood into the city.  Plus, there are the logistical costs of exhibiting overseas and the time factor of being away from the office for an additional eight days during the prime tradeshow season.

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.

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