Monday, February 16, 2004
- Memo to self: If I ever manufacture anything and end up setting up at a trade show, the best displays do not involve haranguing people in the aisles about your wonderful product.*
- The model train hobby is dying a not-so-slow death; there were only two train manufacturers there, including a much smaller Lionel presence than usual. By contrast, the amount of toy and diecast SUVs, pickups, and monster trucks is larger than ever. (Yes, I can make a political point about anything.)
- There aren't many things that can make my jaw drop these days, but I ran across this particular image about halfway through the show:
I was not familiar with the David and Goliath property, but there were several companies at Toy Fair licensing their images. I'm still speechless. And the idea that people were going to put them on(to name examples I saw) kids' pillows and sheets is just appalling.
Lighten up, Ed, it's all in fun, you say. Though I would like to see how far a "fun" campaign inviting people in "fun" to throw rocks at any other grouping of human beings--any other one--and see how far it would get. That it's "edgy fun" to encourage violence against five-year-olds says something about the culture that is too disturbing to contemplate for long.
- I think that many men of a certain age succumb to what must be called Ralph Kramden Syndrome, which is the overwhelming desire to be seen as a "big shot" in spite of all evidence to the contrary. That's one of the things I dislike about going to trade shows, because they encourage the worst kind of Ralph Kramden-ism in people, and it isn't pleasant to watch.
- There were a lot of "homey" toys this year, though I can't imagine who on earth would buy them. I can't see actual homeys collecting homey action figures, but then I never claimed to be a marketing expert. The Godzilla figure with Snoop Dogg's face on it made me laugh, though.
- There are usually some low-wattage celebrities at the show, and this year was no different: Sheila had her picture taken with two of the Queer Eye guys (the blond guy with the big nose and the other guy who was separated at birth from Sal Mineo, I didn't catch their names). At least last year Richard Simmons and Marie Osmond were celebrities that I had actually heard of.
- Had dinner last night at Harold's New York Deli and tourists were taking pictures of the foot-high pastrami sandwiches. It's the kind of wretched-excess place that the U.N. would somehow hate.
*Unless, of course, the haranguing is done by Brazilian women.