Every year I attend the ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailers Association) conference. I’ve traveled to Phoenix, Charlotte, and Denver, but this year it was in Philadelphia. I love to travel for the show, but with our South Street location opening soon, I enjoyed having ASTRA come to my neighborhood. Here are a few thoughts from ASTRA 2017, aka Toy Camp.
Fidget spinners… in or out?
The biggest toy trend of all time got plenty of attention, of course. Whenever a speaker mentioned the hottest item of 2017, I’d hear a collective groan throughout the room. If customers can buy them at a gas station, do they really belong on our shelves?
It seems like every manufacturer is trying its own spin on spinners. Fat Brain Toys had the most innovative approach, in my opinion. They’re releasing a set of large silicone spinners for babies. Spinners for a grown adult? I still don’t get it. Spinners for a 9-month old? That sounds perfect! I think this will be a hot baby item for the holidays.
Other store owners shared some super fun event ideas- stuffed animal slumber parties, sing-a-longs, craft contests, and more. Philly families- what kind of special events do you want to see at Momo’s Tree House? What day of the week works best for your kids? Our South Street location will have an outdoor space- what would you want to see there? Let us know and we’ll make it happen!
Wherever you go, explore!
Naturally, I’d ask new friends how they were enjoying Philadelphia. Those who had gone exploring had wonderful things to say about our beautiful city. However, I talked to some folks who never wandered. After breakfast at the Marriott Starbucks, dinner at Hard Rock Café, and never venturing south of Market Street, what do you think they thought of Philadelphia?
Then I thought about my trip to ASTRA in Phoenix 3 years ago. I barely left the convention center, and I have no idea what Phoenix is like. My takeaway is that I should take some time to explore, even when traveling for business.
Sloths, flamingos, mermaids, circuits, woodworking…