Daily Illuminator

February 2, 2011: New York Toy Fair Is Coming

I am excited that the New York Toy Fair is almost here. This is the one time each year that I get to sit down and talk with our book trade partners to show off our new games. We have very short, intense meetings, packed with far too many "you really need this!" statements, and brainstorm possible store exclusives. And even though the show is right in the middle of our "get the summer products to print" time, it's absolutely worth it.

But let me tell you a secret. We go to the New York Toy Fair each year because it's fun! From the time in the city (do you have any idea how much I love eating in New York?) to the time on the show floor, I personally have so much fun that it should almost be treated as a vacation rather than a business trip. Even the meetings -- which often involve sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours at a time while waiting for my 15 minutes with the buyer -- are fun for me since I love talking and I love to show our new games. At last year's show I carried a display of Zombie Dice from meeting to meeting for a few days, and often found myself talking with random people in the halls who stopped to ask me about the big box I was carting around. 

And as much fun as I have showing off and talking about our games, I have to admit that getting the chance to see toys and games from other publishers -- and I am talking about a lot of publishers -- is a real treat. Up and down the aisles, often getting distracted by something shiny, I race around and try to see everything. That's impossible, but I still give it a shot. Really, it's toy geek heaven and I wish it would never end.

But at the moment I do not have to think of the sad moment when the New York Toy Fair ends. Nope, right now I get to enjoy the anticipation of February 11, the day that I fly to New York to start my week of fun. 

-- Phil Reed

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