Daily Illuminator

June 17, 2010: ASTRA Toy Fair

Phil attended the ASTRA Toy Fair eariler this week. ASTRA stands for "American Specialty Toy Retailing Association." It's no surprise, then, that this event is a trade show for retailers in the toy market. But we entered unknown territory.

"Unknown territory?" you ask. "Haven't you guys been dealing with retailers for about 30 years?"

Hobby game retailers, yes. Toy retailers, no.

"So what's the difference?" you ask. Bluntly, we're not sure.

Both toy and hobby game retailers are traditionally small shops, run by the owners, who operate them as much for love of the products as for profit. But toy stores don't use distributors, which is standard operating procedure for all hobby game stores. Many toy manufacturers don't sell direct to consumers, which, as you know, is very common among game publishers. I'm certain there are other minor differences that could potentially cause a faux pas on one side or the other. Therefore, we proceed with open minds and open ears, and ask for lots of feedback.

After all, in the end we're all geeks of one type or another, so we've got common ground.

-- Paul Chapman

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