Toy Industry Business Intelligence Your Way – Original, Timely, Accurate, Global (NASDAQ:JAKK)

(Editor’s note: This article is an introduction to Business Intel on Toys, a new Marketplace service from Lutz Muller).

It was by pure chance that I started providing intelligence services to the toy industry 15 years ago. I had been running toy companies for a while and started getting more and more phone calls from guys in the finance industry asking me what I thought of this or that company or product. When I looked into it a little closer I realized they did it because there was literally no one else who really knew what they were doing and could talk about all aspects of the toy space thanks to the experience gained over the years all over the world. Yes, there were plenty of other experts, but they either offered maternity statements or just information based on SEC filings and company press releases. It hasn’t actually changed much since then.

I have held leadership positions in consumer products companies since 1960 on five continents. My involvement in the toy industry dates back to 1984 when, as CEO of DKSH [USA] I had to organize a turnaround. We decided we needed to access Wal-Mart’s (WMT) toy shelves for this to succeed; we also knew we had to come up with something new and exciting for Wal-Mart to consider us. So we came up with the idea of ​​turning crafting, until then a totally adult-oriented activity, into something that kids would want to have. And so the Activity Kit category was born and Wal-Mart welcomed us. We’ve placed the same product line at most other major toy retailers, including ToysRUs and Target – some buyers of which are still in the industry today. [albeit at a much more senior level] and I always return my phone calls. The turnaround was a success.

I founded Klosters Trading Corp. in 1987 with the aim of providing consultancy services to the toy industry and its major players. As a result of one of these assignments, I was named CEO of Pastime Industries in 1997 – another toy company that had been delisted by everyone. Inventing “Kids Make Their Own Candy” and “Kids Make Their Own Cosmetics”, we went back to Wal-Mart, Target (TGT), ToysRUs and others. Again, many of these buyers are still in the industry and still talk to me.

To shift gears, in 2003 I began to refocus my efforts to provide market intelligence services to financial institutions and manufacturers active in the toy business. To do this, I used my previous experience with the toy on three different levels.

  • One was to create my own panel of exclusive retailers which includes icons such as Wal-Mart, Target, ToysRUs, Barnes + Noble (BKS), Walgreens (WBA), Dollar General (DG) and others. This panel of retailers provides data on shelf space, sales and inventory levels for major toy categories, with a particular focus on major publicly traded North American manufacturers such as Hasbro (HAS) , JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ: JAKK), Mattel (MAT), Spin Master (OTCPK:SNMSF) and VTech/Leapfrog (OTCPK:VTKLF) as well as companies active in Toys To Life products – Lego, Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY), Activision (ATVI) and Disney (SAY ).
  • The second was to tap into my existing network of national toy buyers and successfully expand it to what today is 27 top retailers in 16 countries around the world. Although these buyers do not provide quantitative data, they do provide insight into the trends governing major product groups and major manufacturers. They also give me the data to rank the top five brands in the Fashion Doll, Action Figure, and Learning Space categories for each of these 27 retailers on a monthly basis. It also provides the basis for forward sales projections for major toy companies for the quarter and year that I update on a monthly basis.
  • The third tier are manufacturers in China who produce toys as subcontractors for companies such as Hasbro, Mattel, etc. Their insights are fundamental to understanding supply chain issues, costs and pricing, manufacturing and technical issues, relationship issues, and other factors in the relationship between these third-party manufacturers and their client companies.

Today my two biggest financial clients are among the top 10 US banks and my biggest manufacturing client is one of the top three non-public toy companies in the world.

In order to provide clients with the information they need, I offer two services. One of them is individual telephone consultations at an hourly rate. The second is a two-part monthly newsletter – one part focused on major toy companies and the other on major toy retailers.

The first – the Toymaker Newsletter – tells you how major retailers view what Hasbro, Mattel, Spin Master, JAKKS Pacific and Vtech/Leapfrog are doing. This includes sales projections for the quarter and the year; top brands at major retailers worldwide for major product groups; changes in market share and other company-specific issues. If you follow these companies but don’t want to rely solely on SEC filings and quarterly earnings calls, this is for you and you won’t find its equal anywhere else.

The second – the Toy Supply Chain Newsletter – examines the toy space from a global market perspective – what is happening there and what retailers are doing there – market shares, shelf space for major brands, inventory and supply chain issues supply. It is an essential and one-stop resource for anyone who needs to understand the longer-term direction of the world in which toy manufacturers operate and who needs information not just focused on past financial history.

The reason my clients come to me and buy my newsletters is to get the information they need to make rational decisions about the companies they follow. The information I provide to them and the articles I publish are based on original research, a generation of continuously updated proprietary data, a very large network of knowledgeable and reliable sources unrivaled in the industry, and over 30 years experience in the toy industry. both as a senior corporate executive and consultant.

If you are looking for exclusive, quality information about the toy industry and the companies operating within it, please consider subscribing to Business Intel on Toys today. I would like to have you on board.

Editor’s Note: This article covers one or more microcap stocks. Please be aware of the risks associated with these actions.

About Lola C. Chapman

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