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Chris Heatherly
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Its been a few years for me but I always had a great relationship with TRU. Yes, they asked for a lot, and yes it didn't always make sense in terms of what they could deliver. But they also could do more than other retailers to support both the small guys and big brands. The biggest problems I had with them almost always were borne of the flaws in their model – too much product, too little foot fall. I would argue that if TRU can find a contemporary model, it will create the alignment they need with partners.
I don't really mine satirizing Disney. We're a big target. And I loves me some satire personally. What makes me sad about Banksy's work here is that he's satirizing Walt Disney's optimistic futurism with a very dour view of our world. It makes me sad not so much because its his view, but it seems almost par for the course in today's world. Do we need another dystopian end of the world film? The stuff that I loved about Walt Disney as a kid wasn't Mickey Mouse (although he's a close personal pal). It was the futuristic stuff. The Magic Highway. The House Of The Future. The PeopleMover. Autopia. Man In Space. He inspired us to put a man on the moon for godsake!! So sure, if you must, parody Disney. But you'd be doing to world a better service to one-up him instead. We live in an age of miracles. We are living the future Walt dreamed about. Reality is never as perfect as our dreams. But... "If you can dream it, you can do it." – Walt CH
The reason that CES and E3 are bigger shows is simple to understand – they are open to the public! Toy Fair has become a show with no clear purpose. Its time of year is unstrategic from a PR point of view – Late Summer or Fall would be a better time to announce new toys. Its not a consumer show, but its pointless as a retailer show because the buyer selections have been made at that point. Its become this ceremony we do in February every year because that's how its always been done, not because it makes any sense in the modern world. The relationship the show has with the media and the public has always been baffling to me. The show is closed to the public and all the booths are closed invite only, but they let the media in and everything is up on YouTube in 5 minutes. What exactly we are trying to hide from the public here? Are we there to get PR or not? And if you aren't, why erect a big expensive booth and throw a trade show for yourself? The retailers see all this stuff behind closed doors anyway. CES and E3 WANT you to come in. They want fans in their booths. They want social media. They want PR. Toy Fair is still toiling in this stodgy Cold War paranoia about competitors seeing one another's product. Who cares? Its all on the Internet anyway and if its the wrong time or year to be showing stuff – MOVE THE SHOW to a time that works better for optimizing media. And the one you didn't mention is ComicCon which is really what I think the TIA should be looking at. Now THAT IS A TOY SHOW! And fans can get in! Except they can't because its so oversubscribed. New York Comic Con is exploding too. And toys are a big part of it! Toy Fair needs to move out of the 80s. The days of big trade shows for the benefit of retailers should be over when 4 guys control all the open to buy. Its a big fat waste of money if that is the case. Toys are culture and Toy Fair should be about celebrating toys place in our culture. If Toy Fair were a fan event, it would be bigger than ever, attract more celebrity talent, and make a much bigger dent in the universe. To prove this theory, I did a fan event at Toy Fair several years back for Cars 2. We invited D23 fans, the media, and retailers to a showcase with talent and a good product display. We had kids there! And we got tons more press than the folks on the floor. Also just kill or move Dallas. The toy industry can do a lot better than 2 floors of a flower mart. Move it to LA. I think Toy Fair could be an amazing event, but its time to think a lot differently.
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Mar 18, 2015