Posts Tagged ‘New York Toy Fair’

NYTF 2020 Wrap-Up

New York Toy Fair 2020 is now in the Gigglicious history book! 

Javitz Center made from lots and lots of Legos

Here’s a snapshot of how it all went down last month:

23 meetings, give or take. Yes, a couple of useless ones, but the rest were productive.

1 microscopic hotel room. Sorry, I meant a “normal” sized room in NYC.

2 pairs of tennis shoes (I’ve deemed this is the only way to survive)

0 winter coats (a first for us)

2 backpacks full of prototypes (this is an improvement on the full-sized luggage a few years back)

Annie and the Scooby Gang. (The only gang I ever wanted to be part of. I just wished they’d have let me in the car.)

NYTF Highlights:

A very New York picture

Any and every view of the Empire State Building at night, seriously.

Having someone say “This is the most exciting thing I’ve seen in two days!” Another one said, “Fast Track this directly to my email. Skip the portal.” Those were great moments where we secretly high-fived under the table.

Seeing a small horse, wearing a coat, standing on the sidewalk waiting for the walk light. Only in New York.

Expecting 0 licenses from a meeting, but getting a request for a proposal for 4.

Getting to hear Ben Veradi from Spin Master play the piano with his jazz combo at the Spin Master party at Stage 48. A lovely little treat.

Perfectly poured, delicious pints of Guinness at the ChiTag event at Connelly’s Pub. 

Our pals, Mary Jo Reutter (inventor extraordinaire) & Brian Turtle (Endless Games) at the ChiTag Inventor Event
Our required, yearly, Times Square selfie. (We are up to about 10 of this same picture.)
He’s just a colorful dude.

The hype and endless work before we Toy Fair is exhausting. I’ll admit it–I gripe about it every year. I usually say I don’t want to go back the next year, but, you know what? I always do. Beyond the sales and networking opportunities (which are huge), its the sense of community, the feeling that we are all striving toward the same goal. It’s our chance to see old colleagues, even better than that, friends.

The NBA is never just a business. It’s always business. It’s always personal. All good businesses are personal. The best businesses are very personal.” ~Mark Cuban

Happy Chinese New Year!

Did you know that 2019 is the Year of the Pig?

Chinese New Year officially starts is February 5th, so I’m a bit early. While most of my friends and family don’t realize that it is Chinese New Year, it is important to Gigglicious. When it’s Chinese New Year, that means New York Toy Fair is just around the corner. It’s the season when the toy industry whips into a frenzy toward the end of January, cramming to get everything done before China goes on vacation for two weeks.

Typically, the month leading to Toy Fair is the busiest time of year for Gigglicious. We keep a hectic pace and make a frantic push to get our best ideas ready to present. We draw, prototype and design presentations as quick as we can. It’s usual for Ryan to still be up working late into the night before we fly to New York. (Personally, I have my own agenda for NYTF planning which includes what shoes to wear that can endure endless hours of walking the infinite aisles at Javitz. Hello? Can’t walk another step!)

We dart from meeting to meeting, some on-site, many in other locations around New York, praying our taxi will get there on time. We sleep through the return flight home, exhausted. Once it’s all over and we take a moment to finally breathe, there is a nice momentum that continues after February. We have follow-up calls and emails from networking opportunities, that keeps us occupied at least through April. It’s a good flow.

However, we have foregone the craziness this year. We have a wedding to attend the same weekend as Toy Fair. Sorry, not sorry. We tossed an invisible coin and Ryan will be making a brief trip to NY. A trip to squeeze in face time with our closest clients for the last days of the show. He will shake hands, talk about ongoing projects, licenses, and discuss concepts we have already presented to them. That’s it. No presentations to build. No fingers super glued together. No Xacto injuries. No worries about getting our videos to embed properly. Easy-peasy.

Hm. That’s nice.

It’s a strange, but quite welcome relief not to feel jittery at Chinese New Year. This year we are making sure we have the right shoes for the wedding, not the showroom floor. We are enjoying the cold grey mornings by candlelight, rather than setting up a light booth in our living room for product shots. On our school snow day this week, we had a fire and curled up with an action flick and our kids, rather than editing shots for Oscar-worthy Gigglicious movies.

We are making sure to appreciate the oddly-timed break for us this year and are as optimistic as ever that 2019 will be a great one for Gigglicious!


CNY art by

New York Toy Fair 2018

As I rub my aching feet, dwelling on the miles I must have trudged up and down the maze of carpeted hallways at Javitz, I realize how happy and grateful I am (and my feet are) to be sitting in my office chair doing the busy follow-up work that came from handshakes, exchanging business cards and presenting the Gigglicious concepts we’ve been toiling on for months.

In three days, Ryan and I shuffled our way through seven football fields of product, catching up with old friends, meeting new business partners, and making all sorts of presentations to top industry innovators. It’s easy to say it was the best trip yet.

(What’s even better? It’s one full year till we have to do it all again.)

Trendmasters crew in 2018-Ryan, Lorenzo Lizana, Brian Weinstock, and Chad Stuemke

What a kick it always is to see familiar faces–ones we’ve known for 20 years! These Trendmasters guys haven’t changed a bit. That company may have been gone for a long time, but the friendships and the love for the toy industry have remained. There is an unbelievable amount of talent in that one picture. It’s satisfying knowing they are all out in the world, and many more of them, still working to make great products and toys that make kids happy and bring families together.


Lastly, a huge thanks to all the family and friends, our little village, who make it possible for Ryan and I to get the work done and spend a few days in New York building our business. We appreciate and love all of you!

Praise the bridge that carried you over. ~George Colman

Part 5: Some Marketing and Movie Magic

Once we have a working prototype, the next step is to shoot a presentation video to show it’s function and how its used.  We edit the footage, add music, and put in text to make a short video that presents the item and all its glorious features.

Because Inventor Relations and Product Development people are busy, the video has to be concise and quickly convey the essence and awesomeness of the item.  We generally get one shot at presenting, and if the video is not convincing, then the item gets passed over.

The nominees for the Best Supporting Actors in a Gigglicious Presentation Video are…..well, I don’t think our video efforts will ever win us any cinematic awards,  but we do have fun with the process.  I’ve experimented with green screens, extra effects, and ridiculous fonts no one else should ever use.  Searching out the perfect music can sometimes take me half a day.   I’m currently trying to figure out how I can work in an explosion effect into a video just because it’s awesome!

Most toy and game companies are located on either the East or West coasts.  So for us, being located in the middle of the United States does not make it easy to present face to face in most circumstances.  This makes industry events like Dallas Toy Show, ChiTag or New York Toy Fair important for us to attend.  Meeting CEO’s and getting to present in person is always preferable.  When we can’t do that, we have to send videos and presentation sheets, hold our breath, and hope everything we’ve designed presents well.

Once they’ve reviewed our item, it’s either a yes, no, or sometimes companies “option” an item they are interested in keeping in-house for further review.  This means they pay us a little money for the right to keep the prototype for an extended amount of time.  This gives them more time to decide if the item is right for them before they license it from us.

Otherwise, we continue show our items around, sometimes for years, to all kinds of Inventor Relations people, CEO’s, and Product Development Managers and hope that one of our items will fit with a vision they have for their company.  A word to those interested in launching a career as an inventor, a deal rarely happens quickly or even at all and typically, we get way, way more passes on items than we do licenses.  More on that next time….

I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well. ~Alan Greenspan

One Month Until 2011 New York Toy Fair

We are attending the 2011 New York Toy Fair that takes place at the Javits Convention Center in New York City in February.  It’s a mecca for toy buyers and manufacturers, but for the inventor, it’s a chance to show our products/prototypes and shake hands. Generally, everybody we want to see is under one roof and this is our chance to show our innovations to them.  Half the fun is getting to check out the creative booths and what new toys will be on every kid’s Christmas list this year.

January is an extra busy time for Gigglicious. We are getting prototypes finished and presentations finalized so we can be ready to show it all at NYTF.  Ryan is putting in extra hours not only for Toy Fair, but other projects for a client.  I’ve been working on finalizing presentations, making appointments, and hunting for comfy walking shoes. (I had some sore feet issues last year because of all the walking we did!)  Despite all the extra time we put into our days right now, this is always a really fun time for us in the studio.  We look forward to the trip, the friends we’ll see, and the chance to show people how creative we are!

“A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.”-Joyce A. Myers