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Thread: Toy Phenomenon, again, step aside Tickle Me Elmo

  1. #1
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    Toy Phenomenon, again, step aside Tickle Me Elmo

    Ive been selling toys, very tiny scale, as a little side business since the early 80s.
    It was always a crap shoot to figure out what might be hot, what might be a waste of money.
    Action figures, barbies, always staples of the industry, any decent brand names sell well at discounted prices.
    But then there were phenomenons.
    I did ok with most of them, but should have remortgaged my home to buy out wholesalers and now Id be retired living in a 7000 sf condo.
    Tickle Me Elmo, wow, took off and became probablly the biggest toy phenonmenon ever.
    I saw it when it was first put on shelves, and thought for 39.99, noones going to shell out that kind of scratch, but I bought a few cases, and sure enough, the craze hit, they were gone in an instant. Managed to get a few more, but had to give most of them away to friends and relatives.
    Yugioh cards-I tapped this one great, timing was great, made a nice buck out of them when the craze hit.
    Pogs, the markup was just ridiculous. I was buying them in buckets of 1000 each paying 3 cents each, and was selling them for 30 cents each, and kids would buy 20, 30, 50 at a time, and parents shelled out big bucks also.. Slammers, paying 50 cents for imports, selling them for 8 dollars.
    Tamigotchi, whoasa, my wife almost divorced me on those.
    I took a whopping amout of dough out of our bank accounts to buy as many as I could, knowing the craze out west for them had people breaking down storefronts to get in to buy them. so I kept buying, nothing hit NY yet, and I was getting a bit anxious, my wife looked like she wanted to kill me at one point.
    then it hit NY, I cleaned up on that one. (it was very close, I was about to start dumping them to anyone who wanted them in quantity, like more than 25, at my cost, even below it to just recoup my money, then it finally hit NY)
    And now, even though I got in a while ago, its too late for me to make a killing, I just cant get them anymore.
    ZhuZhu pets, and I dont even know what the craze is all about. Little rodents, that make noise. I dont care, if I had 10000 of them, I could sell them out in 2 days and retire.
    When I was offered them I was only offered a few cases of each style, and said, ok, another tickle me elmo?
    So I pulled out some pieces and I just stuck them into my shop (garage, I like to call it my shop), just to hold onto in case I needed to give a gift, and my wife doesnt want any more toys cluttering closets inside.
    I dont think you can get them now for under 40-50 bucks each, Incredible, I sold them for 12.99 and thought that was overpriced at first.
    I believe only a 2-3 week craze, maybe through xmas, but thats that, and when your kids or grandkids drive you nuts for one, you might have a tough time figuring out why also. Dont try.

    (Im not sure if this thread is appropiate or allowed, I have no connections to any manufacturer other than I buy products through wholesalers and I am only discussing the appeal I see for some items, not promoting them in any way)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails wood stuff 1512 (Medium).jpg   wood stuff 1513 (Medium).jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    Ive been selling toys, very tiny scale, as a little side business since the early 80s.
    It was always a crap shoot to figure out what might be hot, what might be a waste of money.
    Action figures, barbies, always staples of the industry, any decent brand names sell well at discounted prices.
    But then there were phenomenons.
    I did ok with most of them, but should have remortgaged my home to buy out wholesalers and now Id be retired living in a 7000 sf condo.
    Tickle Me Elmo, wow, took off and became probablly the biggest toy phenonmenon ever.
    I saw it when it was first put on shelves, and thought for 39.99, noones going to shell out that kind of scratch, but I bought a few cases, and sure enough, the craze hit, they were gone in an instant. Managed to get a few more, but had to give most of them away to friends and relatives.
    Yugioh cards-I tapped this one great, timing was great, made a nice buck out of them when the craze hit.
    Pogs, the markup was just ridiculous. I was buying them in buckets of 1000 each paying 3 cents each, and was selling them for 30 cents each, and kids would buy 20, 30, 50 at a time, and parents shelled out big bucks also.. Slammers, paying 50 cents for imports, selling them for 8 dollars.
    Tamigotchi, whoasa, my wife almost divorced me on those.
    I took a whopping amout of dough out of our bank accounts to buy as many as I could, knowing the craze out west for them had people breaking down storefronts to get in to buy them. so I kept buying, nothing hit NY yet, and I was getting a bit anxious, my wife looked like she wanted to kill me at one point.
    then it hit NY, I cleaned up on that one. (it was very close, I was about to start dumping them to anyone who wanted them in quantity, like more than 25, at my cost, even below it to just recoup my money, then it finally hit NY)
    And now, even though I got in a while ago, its too late for me to make a killing, I just cant get them anymore.
    ZhuZhu pets, and I dont even know what the craze is all about. Little rodents, that make noise. I dont care, if I had 10000 of them, I could sell them out in 2 days and retire.
    When I was offered them I was only offered a few cases of each style, and said, ok, another tickle me elmo?
    So I pulled out some pieces and I just stuck them into my shop (garage, I like to call it my shop), just to hold onto in case I needed to give a gift, and my wife doesnt want any more toys cluttering closets inside.
    I dont think you can get them now for under 40-50 bucks each, Incredible, I sold them for 12.99 and thought that was overpriced at first.
    I believe only a 2-3 week craze, maybe through xmas, but thats that, and when your kids or grandkids drive you nuts for one, you might have a tough time figuring out why also. Dont try.

    (Im not sure if this thread is appropiate or allowed, I have no connections to any manufacturer other than I buy products through wholesalers and I am only discussing the appeal I see for some items, not promoting them in any way)
    If you got any to spare LOML is trying to get one for my grandaughter..
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    It's interesting to watch the different toy crazes come and go. It must be a lot more interesting when you have money tied up in stock, and you don't know for certain if the craze will boom.

    Somehow, I don't think the USB Pet Rock will sell quite as well as the cordless model did.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    It's interesting to watch the different toy crazes come and go. It must be a lot more interesting when you have money tied up in stock, and you don't know for certain if the craze will boom.

    Somehow, I don't think the USB Pet Rock will sell quite as well as the cordless model did.
    You read my mind Vaughn. Yea I remember pet rocks. There was a question on a radio show last week at how much they cost way back when. No I didn't remember as I never bought one. It was 14.95. The guy got rich.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

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