Licensing Show was humming even though the hottest thing there was the weather.  One senior retail executive we spoke with thought that the Nickelodeon and Dreamworks lines looked very promising.  Traffic seemed way up from the last two years and the mood was generally very positive with manufacturing companies looking to do something.  Of course, with the continued dumbing down of the retail buyer, unless you have a big well known brand, a hot license is about the only way in the door.

It will be interesting to see how the trend of retailers going direct to the licensor and the Asian factory will work out.  We’ll see how they like it when they get stuck with a couple million pieces of licensed merchandise from a movie flop.  I hope they’re hungry.  This practice may shave a few nickels from their cost, but greatly increases their risk.  It will be fun to watch the buying wonks deal with that – risk-taking being completely alien to the species.

Toy industry hiring has continued at a rapid pace although the number of new searches has begun to slow due to seasonal factors.  The combination of summer and sweat and fingernail biting over ever late orders causes an annual cool down at this time.  New jobs should begin to ramp up again by mid August, and we foresee robust hiring throughout the end of the year.

All the best,

Tom Keoughan