We’ve worked all year for this.
The finish line is in sight as the toy industry races toward the end of another challenging year, but will 2022 be hailed as a victory?
With Hanukkah underway and Christmas fast approaching, many of my usual retail contacts have been conspicuously quiet. As I’ve noted previously, this has been a holiday season filled with mixed messages regarding the overall health of the economy, the state of retail, and the success of the toy industry. One factor that continues to appear true is that foot traffic is up at physical retail, but the basket size may not be lighting up the cash registers in the way that most would hope.
Inventory levels are up across the board at mass retail, and analysts have reported some deceleration in toy sales at a time when they should be accelerating. The good news for consumers that may have waited to shop this season is that there are some great deals out there with really aggressive discounts on a lot of products, including some of this year’s hottest toys!
But can all that inventory move within a week?
While the big boxes remain bursting with product — I was in a Meijer the other night that was shockingly overflowing with toys that had been purged from the stockroom and were infiltrating every nook and cranny where they’d fit — the independent specialty retailers out there may be celebrating some big wins this season. I’m hearing a lot of positivity from toy store owners across the country, and that’s welcome news. Once again, it proves that the old big box mentality of “pile ’em high and watch ’em fly” doesn’t work when the presentation is an unattended mess. Nothing beats folks that know and love toys and can make a real connection with gift-givers. But a lot can change in five days.
No matter what happens to close out 2022 — the business will still be here on Dec. 26 — a new year is on the horizon and we can all mark it as a fresh start — a time to reconfigure, learn from our mistakes, and move forward stronger in 2023!
Speaking of 2023
While most of the industry is checking out for the holidays, work continues here on the 2023 edition of The BIG Toy Book! Our legendary industry “Bible” is back to kick off The Toy Book‘s 39th volume and you won’t want to be left out! Even though Toy Fair is moving to September, we’re answering the call of the industry to deliver the annual issue that you’ve come to expect from North America’s No. 1 toy industry trade publication.
New product submissions are due this week — Thursday, Dec. 22! Get them in, and if you need to place an ad in the book or discuss our great marketing packages, please contact Jackie Breyer or James Devin to get in on the action!
Happy Holidays, friends!