OK, I didn’t make any new predictions for 2010, but in all honesty my predictions for 2009 can pretty much be reused without much modifications (the less said about my 2009 resolutions, the better. Ahem.) So how did I do in forecasting the future? Let’s take a look:
The toy industry is going to get worse in 2009.
I would say this one was on the money. Prices went up, quality went down, distribution was terrible across the board. SDCC exclusives caused a panic. Online toy sales were incredibly erratic. Lines were canceled, Star Wars/GI Joe faltered. It goes on and on. Will it get better in 2010? I hope so, but really the most I’m wishing for right now is for prices to stay where they are, and not increase yet again before the economic recovery picks up steam. Every dollar they go up is a dollar that the companies will continue to keep even after things get better.
Toys R Us and Walmart will do very well.
I think this was also true. Walmart is getting more and more exclusives, and we saw this year that they’ve been almost the only game in town for many new toys while Target has the same old stock languishing on shelves. TRU needs to pick up the slack on distribution and quantities, but no one can deny that they are on an upswing over the last decade, and are filling the gap left by the collapse of Tower and Suncoast for smaller collector driven lines.
Hasbro & Mattel to initiate mergers…or spin-offs.
I kind of blew this one. I really though we’d see some consolidation with the industry in turmoil, but it seems they’d rather hike prices to make up for the shortfall in sales. With the economy showing signs of life, I’m backing off this one even further.
Licensed toys will stay strong…but become even less worth paying big bucks for the license.
Yeah. Avatar, Terminator, Star Trek, TMNT, GI Joe, Star Wars have all fallen far from their heights or didn’t hit those heights to begin with. The perennial superhero lines are doing OK, but only the Marvel movie lines are really hot. We’ll see overall how "How to Train Your Dragon" does as a Walmart exclusive line, but everything is still easy to find. Don’t look for Shrek to burn up the sales charts, either, although Toy Story 3 might do decent numbers. The sad fact is that no matter how bad sales get, don’t expect studios to back off the cost of these licenses anytime soon.
And those were my predictions! And as an added bonus, here is your moment of Bollywood greatness; is it Teen Wolf? E.T.? The Absent-Minded Professor? You got me!