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  August 2002 | Vol. I - No. III


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Cool Company

Freezing a Pose in a Hot Niche

Toy cars are one of the hottest word-of-mouth items today, especially among those who have the real money to spend: grown-ups. 

Cruising into this scene is a young company who has created a hot niche with 1:25 scale Lowrider cars, and found an avid market of collectors.

They’re cool, they pose in trick positions, and they even get some air. They’re LOWRIDE2FREEDOM, our Cool Company of the month...  


The ToyDirectory Mom:

Kid’s Ads: It’s the Laws That Make Them Funny 
Too much regulation and too many laws are not going to keep your child from... 

Design Inspiration

This Month : Learning Material's Karen Hewitt

Renaissance Woman
Karen Hewitt has two passions: children and art. Most of her education and career were spent immersed in one or the other, yet today, Hewitt gets the best of both worlds – as a toy designer...

Real Retailer

Meltdown Comics

CAUTION:  If you think driving traffic and being your own best publicist are issues of importance, you may want to read this. 

Meltdown Comics, just another comic book store you say?  Hold onto your little plastic wrappers, folks, this hot LA destination is a lot more than that.  They’re our Real Retailer of the month, and here’s why...


What’ll Be Hot for the Holidays?
Nothing beats a healthy dose of Demand to drive retailer traffic and make holiday receipts rosey.  But how does that demand take the shape of a Tickle Me Elmo®, or a Cabbage Patch Kid® each year?  What are the forces that focus public sentiment on that ONE product everyone just has to have, and more importantly, what will it be this year?
Full Text  
Retailers Vote on the "Gotta Have"

Cars, R/C and Otherwise
A hurricane is brewing outside my window.  The wind is howling, the house is creaking, and I am on the kitchen floor playing crash derby with my matchbox cars, oblivious.  Actually, this all happened quite some time ago.  But in the past couple of days, in preparing for this article, I’ve tried to rekindle that spirit…
Full Text

The New, the Hot and the Unusual: NOVELTIES

Clearly Unique Soaps
Soap Vision, a Santa Barbara-based company, started out as a kitchen-table operation with the novel idea of “putting things inside translucent soap.”  
Full Text

Do You Like Your Candy with a Twist?
Leo Arretin, Inc. has found sweet success with their Twinkle line of lollipops; they’re cute, tasty and flexible.  Full Text  

For Those Who Enjoy Things That Ooze
We don’t know which is cooler: The fact that this material is solid yet oozes, OR, the fact that it was designed by a stay-at-home mother in Florida!  Full Text 

Animal, Mineral…Replica
Geoworld is an Italian company best known for creating painstaking fossil replicas, and offering minerals, fossils and related printed materials for retail sale.  Full Text


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Retailer Survey

76 Responded

How has this summer’s business shaped up for you?
7% Gangbusters!
22% Better than expected
34% About what I expected
29% Worse than I expected
8% Really bad

How are patriotic products performing these days?
7% Still going strong
12% Solid, but declining
35% Steadily declining
29% The wave has passed, but better than pre-9/11
10% At pre-9/11 levels
7% No answer

How do you feel about product advertising in toy trades?
40% I pay attention to ads
10% I make purchases based on ads
41% I sometimes pay attention to ads
8% I never pay attention to ads
1% No answer

I wish there were more products available for this group:
14% Infants/Babies
8% Male Children
8% Female Children
3% Male Tweens
8% Female Tweens
14% Teens
26% Adults
13% Pets
5% No answer

I wish there were an alternative to big, yearly trade shows. Something like:
45% A huge catalog delivered in the mail
9% A videotaped production that I could view in my free time
5% An online/internet toy fair, once a year
32% An online/internet toy fair, featuring a variety of products every month
8% Are you kidding? I love Toy Fair!
1% No answer

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