Part four of my Toy Fair adventure 10 years ago.
To recap, in part 1, we covered how I had made a deal with a local paper to provide a story for them in exchange for credentials to get in.
In part 2, we covered preparing for the show.
Part 3 was the show.
Now I had to deliver on my promise to the local paper. Now I had to write my article.
I realized before I left Tuesday for the show, that I would be getting in really late. And that would leave me no time to write the article. We had agreed it should run in the Weekend edition, just like the prior article introducing me to their readers. So I had just Wed, Thur, Fri to get it done. I made the decision to take a second vacation day to write the article.
I wrote it. I sent it to the editor. But there was a problem. It needed revisions. Not the toy stuff, the stuff you guys would want to read about, the rest of it. It was too audience specific. It needed to appeal to a broader readership. How did we do that? we added more of the human angle to it.
I added stuff about wanting to go for weeks. I built up the desire to be there. And details about my personal side of the day. Like, Leaving the house I don’t know when, but I have to make the 7:30 bus out of Providence, RI. I included things like the cost of my breakfast. Where I ate lunch (actually, I just checked the story. Apparently I took my lunch with me, brown bagging it that day). How much the subway fare was. Being aggravated as to how late in the day the bus finally pulled into the Port authority in NYC. I talk about my first impressions upon arriving at Toy Center, two tall buildings with an enclosed cross walk at the 9th floor. Interestingly enough, my first interview is not there. My impressions as I walk up to Hasbro’s front entrance. How seeing a car decorated to look like the Pokemon Pikachu reminds me of a sweepstakes to win your own Batmobile.
I tell them how I got lost on my way to one of my meetings. I felt I needed to include an explanation as to what types of toys McFarlane made. Average people don’t know who he is or that his toys are not really for the demographic most people think toys are for. I cover who Spawn is, the fact that the author went off to create his own toy company so he could control how his intellectual property was rendered in 3D form. I suggest that the lack of XMen toys might be due to their cartoon ending.
I end with how I get home. Subway. I describe my snack while waiting for the bus. And my final cost for the day ($46.25). That is the way the story was printed in the Feb 13-14, 1999 edition of The Kent County Times, West Warwick, RI.
I hope you have enjoyed my story of Toy Fair 1999, ten years ago.
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