Exclusive: Letter from America – Indie toys, the train is full speed ahead

Published on: 2nd March 2022

In this month’s Letter from America, Rick shares how he keeps track of new trends and products, despite missing Toy Fair in New York.

“The increased sales volumes we have been experiencing have continued into the new year, busting January records and showing February strength too,” writes Rick. “The main drivers continue to be Squishmallows, the fidget sensory category and scented slimes, namely Dope Slimes produced here in the states. In addition, we are seeing strong Lego sales and great performance from both the Mattel and Hasbro ranges. But it’s not all the big brands; some emerging, newer products that are just hitting shelves are enjoying a fantastic start too. How long will the train stay at full speed? No one knows and if they do, they aren’t saying.”

Together with partner Diverse Marketing, Rick has identified six key trends emerging after two market shows, Dallas and Atlanta, held in January, which he details in the article.

“You may be wondering how we keep track of all the new trends and products without Toy Fair in New York,” he continues. “Several strategies are working.” These include Zoom meetings with individual vendors, asking reps to add value on new lines and networking extensively within the Learning Express group. “This is like having 85 pairs of eyes waking up every day looking for winners and best sellers,” Rick explains. “New is our heartbeat to success and we must execute first to shelf, quickly and efficiently.”

To read the full Letter from America, which appeared in the March edition of Toy World, click here.



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