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We’ve moved office, so for one week only….it’s the Monday Blog!

Published on: 4th August 2014

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that this week’s Friday Blog is making a late appearance. But I do have a good excuse – the Toy World team moved into its new office on Friday.
After a spectacularly inept attempt at contract renewal negotiations by our former landlord (if I told you, you probably wouldn’t believe me), we decided that the time had come to move on to pastures new after three years in our former office. Our shiny new home – only a mile down the road – is most definitely an upgrade, both in terms of the facilities and the ambience (not to mention the landlord). We even have fingerprint scanning access to our office – so if anyone wants to break in, they’ll have to kidnap me and cut off my finger, just like Mission Impossible.
We have new phone numbers (see the ad on the home page of the website), but the email addresses stay the same, as does our original accounts address for anyone sending remittances to our accounts department.
Thankfully Friday’s move went as smoothly as we could have hoped for: we didn’t have stock or heavy machinery to move, so we knew that as long we could get the comms up and running without too much disruption, everything else would be fine. So now we’re safely ensconced in our new home and ready for the next chapter. If anyone is passing the Hemel Hempstead area, you’re most welcome to drop in – our first guest is due in this week, and we hope to see many more of you over the coming months.
Amongst all the move preparations I managed to acquire an Argos Autumn/Winter catalogue and have briefly perused the toy section. I wouldn’t want to set myself up as any sort of expert – I’m told that Steve Kerrison (Kerrison Toys) used to provide a particularly thorough analysis of its contents which I gather was well worth getting hold of – but my first impression was that it was perhaps a little more focused this year, while prices in the main don’t seem overly aggressive, giving them plenty of room for manoeuvre as Christmas approaches, when flyers, gift guides and online promotions will no doubt come into their own. Some of the items still seem far too small on page, and I don’t think that’s just because my eyesight isn’t what it was. Generally, though, they seem to have backed the winners with more space, although I was surprised to see only 2/3 page of Frozen merchandise (presumably they weren’t confident on securing sufficient stock?).
There has been further movement in the games market, where John Adams has added Pig Goes Pop and Doh Nutters to its portfolio. Meanwhile, over in the USA, Goliath Games has acquired Pressman Toy, just two months after it bought fellow games company Crown and Andrews.
In conversation last week, I got to know of a toy company – based in the North of England – which is looking for a sales director. It’s a very successful operation and a great opportunity for the right person, so if you (or anyone you know) is looking for a new challenge, get in touch with me and I’ll give you more details.
A quick reminder to anyone who would like to sign up to the Toy World Fantasy Football League competition: the log-in code for the Toy World Masters League is 45324-91268. We have 13 confirmed players so far, and we’d love a few more before the season kicks off.
Finally, it’s my wife Anita’s birthday today, but I decided not to follow Robert Mann’s ambitious birthday surprise for his wife Jan. Eschewing the obvious gifts like flowers, chocolate, alcohol and theatre tickets (damn, given away the surprises there), Robert decided to ‘treat’ Jan – and I use the word in its loosest context – to a spot of wing-walking (see below). wingwalker600I don’t know what Jan thought of the experience, but I’m confident I’ve made the right decision not to replicate Robert’s gift.