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)