Happy 2024

The start of this new year officially represents our 14th year in business! 

January 1, 2011 was a very scary day for us as full time, independent toy and game inventors. There were no more weekly paychecks, no medical insurance, no 401k to pay into anymore. But, there were no commutes, no endless meetings, no reason for us to miss the kids’ school concerts, soccer games, or band practices either. In that new year, every aspect of our lives and family underwent significant transformation.

I wouldn’t be honest if I told you small business ownership got easier. Every year is a hard, uphill grind to invent, sell, and run Gigglicious. Even when we come up with ideas and license them successfully, there are endless factors out of our control: things like, diminishing shelf space at retailers and shrinking margins, for example. Lately, we’ve experienced the whims of either buyers or marketing departments leaving good product up on the shelf never to see the light of day because they are more interested in following a trend that will be viral. (Well, at least until next week, when it isn’t.) The role of “inventor” isn’t an easy one, but as it turns out, we are a thick skinned, stubborn bunch that won’t give up. Plus, we are motivated by the hope that the next item we license will be the big win. For us, believing the next great idea is just around the corner, is an addictive one.

What has gotten easier for us? The relationships. We now are working with people we have known in the industry for years. We’ve learned who to trust, who we can lean into if we need them, and we’ve sorted out the people we most enjoy working with. Whether we’re introduced to someone new at a toy company or engaging with industry professionals, we often discover shared connections and stories to swap. We’ve cultivated meaningful connections with people from around the globe who share a collective mission: bringing joy to children. What makes it even better? The relationships and camaraderie we’ve built over the years helps open doors.

What is the outlook for Gigglicious 2024? The evolving landscape of the toy industry, with changes in trends, market dynamics, and the impact on established companies, is a challenge that will inevitably trickle down to inventors. For one, it’s been hard to even settle on which city to hold a Toy Fair, let alone decide which one is the most important for us to attend. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on that. The news about Hasbro and Haba letting go of staff is disheartening. Yesterday’s news of Big Monster Toys, the invention powerhouse, shutting their doors was most likely disturbing to all inventors and inventor-friendly companies. It’s scary to think of so many talented industry veterans having to look for work. But, toys are a constant. Kids want them and parents will buy them. Our job is to continue to work toward that end.

In 2024, our focus remains steadfast on these principles: continue our ongoing efforts, persist in what we do best, stay grateful for what we have and do, and forge ahead as it’s business as usual.

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year from Gigglicious.