Dave Manga

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.

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:

ASTRA Marketplace & Academy 2013

This past week, ASTRA held their annual Marketplace & Academy in Nashville.  I was not personally in attendance this year, but our company had a booth.  This was the 11th time that Outset Media has exhibited at ASTRA.
 

Do Celebrity Endorsements Work?

A quick overview for those of you who are not too familiar with Outset Media.  Outset Media designs and produces its own board games, card games, and jigsaw puzzles, which are distributed worldwide.  However, we also act as the Canadian distributor for several toy companies.  One of these companies is MindWare – makers of the hugely popular and award-winning game Qwirkle.  I will get back to Qwirkle later in my 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”.

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!

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