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 Post subject: retailers
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:16 am 
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Loose, Missing Package
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Location: Cox's Creek, KY
For years I remember reading in Tomart and Lee's about how it pretty much required two of the big five toy retailers (at that time it would have been K-B, K-Mart, TRU, Target and Walmart) buying in to get a toy into production. But with the landscape changed as it has with K-B being gone and K-Mart slowly fading away how has that number been affected? Does it now take one of the three or is it still two? Has the growth of Amazon and e-tailers like EE and BBTS filled the void left by K-B and K-Mart? How much affect do the smaller toy buyers like Walgreens, Kroger and Dollar General have? I mean they don't have huge toy sections and they certainly can't move as much product per store as the big three *BUT* they do have strength in numbers, just sending one case of anything per store could meet or come very close to a minimum production run.


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 Post subject: Re: retailers
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:48 pm 
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We're going streaking!
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I don't have the answer. But toy lines have really changed a lot with the loss of KB Toys and the smaller specialty retailers like Borders and Media Play. The space for DC Comics toys reflects the company's media presence outside of the television shows (two of which are new this year): pathetic. I think it still takes at least two major retailers to be on board, with DC Total Heroes being a good example, with its' presence mainly at Walmart and TRU, and Target not carrying the line at all.

K-Mart may not be the major player it once was, but they sometimes not only have the newest lines, but they sometimes get them first. I don't know how that plays into getting a line into production. And not every K-Mart location carries every line, much like Walmart and their new model stores.

I would like to think the smaller toy buyers like Walgreens would help get lines into productions, but I think their role is to help existing lines by moving new and excess product, with exclusives being their incentive, whether it is a new figure or the exclusive being a means to get previously planned figures out to retail.

A tad OT, I think small toy companies have never recovered from the loss of Media Play, Suncoast and that whole conglomerate. The loss of Borders further killed them, although Barnes & Nobles has really picked up the collectibles mantle with Borders gone. TRU helps, but Mezco and NECA aren't Funko, so seeing their products in Target or Walmart anytime soon is doubtful. Same with Diamond Select. Props to Funko and what they have accomplished in this toy and collectible market.

I would love to say that the e-tailers have made a difference, especially a large one like Amazon.com, but I don't feel like they have. When I look at EE, BBTS and the like, they are a good alternative to the major retailers if you want to purchase sets and they continue to be the best outlet for the small toy company, but they always carried the small toy company banner. Amazon can carry the small collectibles stuff too, but they are more an alternative to the big retailers. A lot of times, smaller companies lines are through third party stores.


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