Saturday, November 05, 2005
Home is Where You Hang Your Tea Cup
It's November and the Toy Industry Association announced last month that they had selected a new facility on Church Street in Manhattan to be the home of the new toy center, due to the sell of the previous property on 23rd and Broadway. Then a few days later came the announcement that the new facility was no longer the choice -- and the search would go on. February is the month for the traditional International Toy Fair in New York. One cannot help but feel these reverberations of being unsettled as a metaphor for the industry itself. With compression of demographics, kids who bail out of imaginative play to be cast into graphical virtual worlds, the toy business as it was once known is now awash in confusion, diffusion, illusion and delusion. Behind it all, one must remember the little manufacturer of tea cups on the 12th floor who writes $25 million dollars worth of business every year -- all from a 200 square foot showroom. One must remember there are rules -- and that the rules, like tiny porcelain tea cups, must be broken from time to time. So what is the new rule for the toy industry? Find a building -- because a widening gyre is not good for business. This is America, for goodness sake! How long must one man look to find a place to sell his toy tea cups?