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Ramblings of a Toy Department Employee…

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A Short Introduction

By Mathew McKee     March 19, 2007


Action Figures
© N/A
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.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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themovielord 3/19/2007 11:44:10 AM
I get so frustrated when I do go to the toy store or toy department. I can never get what I am looking for and must turn to alternative markets. I see the new stuff on-line but have to be like a Vulture at the toy store to try and get it. And hanging out at the toy department is creepy enough when you're an adult but when you are there every day!? Example: All I want is the new Boba Fett with the coin from STar Wars (the all white one) and I don't want to shell out 20 dollars for something that is $6.99 retail. A major reason why I stopped collecting (the mark up). Plus it wasn't fun anymore. It was work. So my advice to you, Matt, is talk about the collectors vs. the ebay pirates. It's a shame that people have taken the fun of toy collecting and made it into hording, scalping, and back alley dealing. All for something that will never be played with or never get the chance to collect dust on my computer desk.
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