A Short Introduction (Mania.com)

By:Mathew McKee
Date: Monday, March 19, 2007

Hello! and welcome to the ramblings of a toy department employee.  My name is Matt McKee and I will be your guide through wide world of toys.  I work at a comic book store as the lowest man on the totem pole in the toy department.  This means I get to be the one that receives all the shipments, unpacks all the boxes, keeps the floor stocked, etc.  I have very little input in the ordering process and as a result I am generally just as ignorant of the new things that are coming in as the stores customers.  As a result of this, one of my favorite days of the week is Tuesday when we receive most of the newly released toys for that week.  It’s like Christmas, every Tuesday I come in and I get to see the newest toys straight out of the box before anyone else.  It’s very similar to the feeling you get coming into the store as a customer on Wednesday when all of the new toys have been put out.  I think that this allows me to empathise with the customers a little bit more than the people that are doing the ordering, as they don’t experience that excitement because they exactly what is coming in.

I can also sympathize with the higher ups in the departments as well because I am doing all the restocking.  Restocking allows me to get a good idea of what toys are hot, and what toys are not.  I get to see the boxes in the basement that are full of the one figure from the series that nobody seems to be interested in.  It allows me to get a decent understanding of how the market works.  I get to compare that initial “wow this figure is awesome” that happens Tuesday morning with what is actually selling, and thereby gain a little more understanding of the marketing of the toys themselves

OK, so that’s me.  Now, what am I going to be doing this column?  I feel that as a result of my situation I have a good understanding of both sides of the industry and this gives me a unique perspective that I would like to share with you.  My goal for this column is to create an environment where this unique perspective can help provide a more complex understanding of the toy industry for everyone.  I will be happy to answer any questions or address any topics concerning the industry, particularly the retail end, that people would like me to.  When I am not doing this, I will be filling your heads with new information that I hope will allow you to better appreciate and enjoy the toy industry as a whole.  Send your questions and comments to shadowfaxz@yahoo.com, or just post them as a comment.  I’ll see you next time.