Snarky and funny illustrated account of a day at the New York Toy Fair

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5 Responses to “Snarky and funny illustrated account of a day at the New York Toy Fair”

  1. Stefan Jones says:

    Oh, my, flashback!

    About 20 years back I got a badge for the Toy Fair, from Steve Jackson. I was freelancing for SJGames at the time and somehow it came up that he wasn’t going and I lived on Long Island, so . . .

    I remember that security was tight, and that there was a strict NO CHILDREN policy.

    It was pretty tedious. Booth after booth of people pushing their trivia game or their idea of a hot fantasy creature franchise for boys. I got roped into sitting through several demos  by people who thought I was Steve Jackson and thought they’d struck gold.

    One family group had a really peculiar, expensively produced SF boardgame. The family’s teen daughters were dressed in cheesy SF costumes. There was a taint of desperation there. I asked for a card and ordered a copy of the game . . . not because it looked remotely good, but horribly, horribly bad.

    Before I left I went to the TSR booth, which I recall was in the special Toy Center building (off of Broadway?), not the convention center. It was a dimly lit room with no signage or colorful display material or any notion that this company was in the business of fun or adventure. Just a few glass cases with games (e.g., D&D boxed set, Indiana Jones boxed set) under spotlights. They might as well have been selling high-end jewelry, or yachts. I was immediately approached by a no-nonsense prick in a business suit who obviously spotted me as a geek and a waste of his time and wanted me out of there. I doubt he’d touched polyhedra dice in his life.

    I signed up for some free trade journals while I was there. They provided a glum look into the business side of toys and games. I remember an issue with a false cover and lots of sponsored articles about Darkwing Duck; it came out a year or so before the cartoon ran. They were lining up the licensed toy makers, likely before any episodes were produced.

  2. Ender Wiggin says:

    this is the most awesome thing i’ve seen today. thank you.

  3. saurabh says:

    This is indeed great, and her illustrations are charming and hilarious. Also, Kubb is a FANTASTIC game and should totally become the new lawn entertainment game of the millenium! Also, less lethal than slip’n’slide AND lawn darts, despite its viking origins!

  4. bcsizemo says:

    Oh lulz….

    “• Here’s an uncomfortable observation: I notice my attraction to certain toys feels kind of … sexual. A lot of these toys have voluptuous and flirtatious designs, for example the My Little Ponies have big soft rumps and perfumed hair. It makes me uneasy.”

  5. Art says:

    Excellent work!  Witty and observant.

    Ms. Hanawalt captures the absurdity, showroom loneliness and corporate desperation of  Toy Fair most accurately.

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