First of all I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelmingly positive response to my last Toyjobs Executive Monthly article. The only negative comments came during a highly charged Friday afternoon phone call from the TIA Board Chairman. For my part, I also view that response as positive.

Besides all the positive feedback, many of you offered strong suggestions about industry tradeshows and the current showroom impasse. If you are desirous of positive change within the industry, I suggest applying pressure through public letters to various toy industry forums. The industry has seen where watching and waiting and sidebar conversations gets us. I would also strongly recommend getting involved and standing for election to the TIA Board. Unfortunately, it seems that to run for the TIA Board you have to be nominated by a current TIA Board member. Hmm…not exactly a mechanism for positive change. Still, you can volunteer to pitch in and help out and not take any position on any question until after you’re elected. After all, that’s the way our national politicians do it.

As for me, I hope the October show in Dallas is a raging success. I hope that everyone is selling more toys and hiring more toy people; but we should keep in mind that a Dallas Toy Show has failed before. There are also a lot of manufacturers saying that they won’t show in Dallas, but I suspect that they’ll eventually come around. The toy industry is just about the metooingest business there is. Nobody will commit to anything until they see who else has committed to it first. I suspect that once a critical mass of toy manufacturers and buyers commit to the Dallas show, that most everyone else will begin to fall into line no matter how angry they are. Of course, people have every right to be angry. The TIA Board Executive Committee overruled the TIA Board and went against the wishes of much of its membership. They effectively torpedoed the ability of toy manufactures to work out of showrooms in a toy building or small group of buildings even though that is the way most manufacturers prefer to work. Their publicly stated reasons for doing so were specious. One gets a little tired of hearing that buyers were complaining about having to travel to showrooms scattered all over the place. Buyers can easily control that by telling manufacturers “I am going to A and I am going to B. If you want to meet, you will be in one of those places.” The one positive is that we can be pretty sure that the TIA will do everything in its power to make the Dallas show a huge success if only to avoid the finger pointing, howling from the rafters and boatloads of “I told you so’s.”

See y’all in Texas,

Tom Keoughan