« The Playground Podcast: The Decade in Review - Part 2 (Trends) | Main | Shen Zhen International Toy & Educational Fair 2020 »

January 16, 2020


Michael Kohner

I agree 100%. My concern is for survival of the small and medium size Toy and Game Manufacturers.

...But let’s acknowledge that TRU was also a museum of stiffs and write-offs and was run somewhat on a Ponzi scheme of charging marketing dollars on the way in and markdowns on the way out. There was a massive amount of inefficiency in the TRU model which ultimately imploded on them. It’s tempting to get nostalgic about TRU but for the last decade of its life at least, it was a bad business.

And what that covered up for were inefficiencies in the toy market - too many SKUs, too much tooling, too many underperforming brands and licenses, too much inventory. All of this has been exposed.

I do worry for the toy industry with this news out of Target. There are so many meta trends impacting the toy industry and almost all of them are headwinds. It’s no surprise to me that these companies like Funko, Just Play and Jaswares are benefitting from these shifts. The days of these big bloated corporate toy companies based around retail distribution and big load in quantities are over. You really have to run lean to be able to weather the storms.

Perhaps consumers were simply bored with the manufacturers’ move to low price point, low content-rich toys. It was a year without a breakout hit toy to drive consumers to stores. Manufacturers may need to put their creative hats on and come up with some compelling products.

Only have anecdotal evidence, but Target seemed to have trouble stocking what new toys there were for lines such as Marvel, Star Wars, and Jurassic World. Hearing from fellow fans and collectors, and visiting multiple stores in Central New York, Target seems to be bogged down with 1-2 year old toys for some of the brands I mentioned. After an initial push for Star Wars on October 4th, stores never stocked fresh product in December leading to the holiday. I walked out of Target w/ money in hand and ordered online but it wouldn't have been my first choice.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

TWM_Home of the friday blog_200x400