What will it take for Toys R Us to survive? A miracle, perhaps? Miracles do happen, just rarely.
Is there something that the major toy companies can do to help the giant retailer in their hour of need? It is expected to be another bruising holiday toy season again this year, and TRU's competitors will once again compete aggressively for any available toy dollars. What strategies might they employ to survive and even thrive?
I would love to help, but I am not sure that my two cents are of any interest to them, and yet they have a lot of supporters who would love to advise, consult, or assist in the interest of their success. The toy industry is a resource that they should consider making better use of.
It’s all fun and games until someone gets sprayed.
Like having a pet skunk, kinda. Well, actually, not so much.
Anyway, as I was saying, I vividly recall as a young designer at the legendary Marvin Glass and Associates I had created a top with a magic marker doo-hickey as the ‘point’ of the top. As the top spun it created spiralling patterns on paper. Quite cool. That would have been back around 1980, long before Doodle Tops were even a twinkle in some marketer's eye.
An industry colleague wrote to me this touching note in regards to my book, Bruce's Beliefs:
“I was reading it and it is such a wonderful look into you and your heart. I just wanted to comment on the chapter about Roxy. I don’t remember ever crying while reading a book until now. That was such a perfect, beautiful story and experience. I have two dogs as well that I love dearly. Thank you for sharing and thank you for making me see the true value of those that bring that shining example of love into my life. . . “
Wow! That is everything I could have ever hoped for in writing this book - to touch the lives of others in some positive way, that readers will feel that their precious time was well spent and their lives richer in some small way for having read it.
Mission accomplished. Should you be so inclined to read our book, I hope that you will feel the same.
Speaking of ugliness going to the bone, the floors in the 'garden' apartment of my newly purchased building were in bad shape, so I thought I would replace them. Sometimes less is more. Hardwood floors are nice, an amenity even if they are not in the best condition. But no, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I tore them up and stood aghast to see they had been built on dirt - not concrete - but 2x2's laid on the dirt, to which the hardwood floor had been attached. Who does that?
It was too late, and there was no money to dig it out and pour concrete, so new 2x2's were laid where the old ones had been and plywood and carpet became the new floor. It was an acceptable fix, but not the end result I had hoped to achieve.
An interesting insight from Peter Gray, and I paraphrase slightly, is that social play is nature's way of teaching young humans that they are not special. Even those that are more skilled at games or activities than others must consider the wants and needs of the others as equal to their own or face being excluded from the play altogether.
Play is essential. Play is crucial, critical, of paramount importance to the raising up of a child. Toys are important tools of play. Toys enable play, toys are the implements around which play is organized. Toys help children experience joy and help them learn how to make and keep friends. Toys are tools by which children learn how to make decisions, regulate their own behaviors, and follow rules.
Toys help develop the imagination. They are essential components of a child's happiness and good mental health. By enabling play, toys have been essential in all of our own healthy upbringings and have enabled us to function successfully in the world today as adults.
One of our items in the Mattel showroom received recognition and accolades from Fisher Price and Mattel executives, as well as from several of our esteemed competition. What we may lack in quantity, I hope we make up for in the quality of our concepts that come to market. We seek for them to raise the bar - to astound and amaze, and of course to sell like hotcakes.
My colleague K was once again a stalwart companion on this LA trip. He was a collaborative partner who was there to assist constantly and to offer his thoughts on how we can go forward with our business, reimagine ourselves, and take Lund and Company Invention to new and greater levels. Kudos, K! You were terrific. Again. Thank you.
I am truly blessed with the most remarkable and wonderful team of talented young people to work with. A man could not be more blessed than I am.