The 2009 Toy Fair season is well upon us. The October Toy Fair in Dallas was the first, the Hong Kong show is just over, the British Toy Fair just starting, the giant Nuremburg Toy Fair coming soon, the New York International Toy Fair in Mid February, and much later in the year, the Japanese Toy Fair.
As recently as a decade ago or so, toy industry execs were on the road doing one toy fair after another from the beginning of January until beginning of March, as there were toy fairs in Italy, France, Spain and others, and the Japanese show was in early March. It was a grueling schedule.
As it is now, January 1 is often a travel day for toy folks to get to the Hong Kong toy show, where buyers make many key buying decisions. The Japanese toy show has been moved much later to discourage knockoffs of their new introductions.
Well………., here we go, the first sentence of my, rather our first blog! Everyone else has a blog, so I guess we should have one, too! I will hope to provide something of value, something of interest, and/or something entertaining for you.
I have been inventing toys since 1979, and founded my company 25 years ago. And I wouldn’t want to do anything else in the world. We have honed our skills, knowledge and understanding over the years, and we are doing better products today than ever before, so that the products we create today are better and more exciting than ever.
In October we were honored to be named 2008 Jakks Pacific Inventor of the Year, as a result of our work that led to their “Discovery Scanopedia” learning system, also a 2008 Toy of the Year Nominee. And we just learned that we have also been named Vivid Imaginations Inventor of the Year for 2008. We are being recognized and honored by our good friends at Vivid for their success with “Honey My Baby Pony” and their new “AniMagic” brand being marketed worldwide. We are delighted, honored, and humbled to be recognized, for doing what we love doing every day.
Stay tuned, we have more amazing and wonderful products coming out of our offices almost daily!
We have completed our move to the fabulous new offices of Lund and Company Invention, L.L.C. — and in keeping with the spectacular design of our new studio, we staged a spectacular celebration Party with toy industry comrades, family, personal friends and neighbors. Among the highlights of the evening were search lights, a stilt walker; living statues of some of my personal heroes, Einstein, Da Vinci and Ben Franklin, a fire eater; a belly dancer with a 12-foot python, circus performers, a live scorpion card trick, and a big, beautiful, sleek, 300 lb Bengal Tiger to top it off! The Tiger was tame as a pussy cat, and a major hit with kids and adults alike.
Key industry executives such as Sharon John, GM of Playskool; Wayne Luther and team representing Hasbro; Steve Toth representing Fisher Price, and many colleagues representing RC2, the Marketing Store, Cadaco and others were among the 200 or more friends and associates of Lund and Company Invention, L.L.C. in attendance at the big Grand Opening event. It was a feast for the senses, with guests feasting on Chicago delicacies and local candies, traversing our rock climbing wall, entering our secret entrance, inspired by the legendary "Safe House" in Milwaukee. Even the owner of the Safe House honored us with his presence, along with a real cold war spy who spent six years in Soviet prisons for spying on behalf of G2, the WW2 U.S. spy agency.
The Grand Opening Bash of the new Lund digs was a hit by all accounts, and a party to go down in the annals of toy industry history!
We did it! Almost 2 1/2 years in the making, we have nearly completed, and now occupy one of the coolest design studios on the face of the planet! Filled with magic, whimsy, and wonders, as well as a complete machine shop to make anything from dolls to military hardware, and an electronics lab to build circuits and program microprocessors, it is a cross between Willy Wonka's factory and Thomas Edison's laboratory.
Our new invention laboratory is open for business! Plumbers, electricians and tradesman of every sort work to finish off the myriad details that will put the icing on the cake. Don't want to spoil the surprise, but lime green walls and bubble walls, bug collections, climbing walls and funhouse mirrors, and a building with its own personality all contribute to the ambience.
With this new office we make a statement to ourselves, and to the industry that we are committed to continuing to do what we do best. We are committed to excellence in invention, execution, and development of new products that will excite, delight and inspire all they touch. We are committed to being the best we can be, and our new space has been created to enable and inspire us to do the work of our lives.
Imagination changes everything. The best is yet to come!