As an independent company that has to take on the more well-established toy companies on the retail shelves, co-founders of Click-A-Brick, Georg de Gorostiza and Jason Smith, are pleased to see the inclusion of Independent Thinking sessions at this year’s upcoming North American International Toy Fair in New York in February.
These sessions are aimed at independent toy stores to help them compete with the larger box stores in the marketplace and while de Gorostiza and Smith aren’t toy store owners, they do own a small company that is competing with much larger players in the highly competitive building block market.
De Gorostiza, Click-A-Brick’s Brand Manager, said anything that can help independent business owners, regardless of whether it’s retail or manufacturing, is welcome within the industry.
“It’s not easy to take on the ‘big guys’ whether you’re selling toys or making toys,” de Gorostiza says. “I’m happy that the organizers of the Toy Fair are including these sessions for the independent businesses in the marketplace. When you’re just starting out in the toy business, you can feel like an outsider trying to get into some kind of exclusive club, so seeing one of the biggest toy fairs in the world earmark time for independent businesses is great. As an independent business, we really appreciate it. We hope next year they’ll have some sessions for companies like us; independent toy companies who sell online.”
Smith concurred, saying it’s encouraging to see independent businesses get a bit of the spotlight at such a prestigious event within the toy industry.
“Anyone who is in the toy industry wants to be at the International Toy Fair checking out the hottest new trends and seeing what’s coming up on the horizon,” Smith says. “Having specific sessions for independent businesses is like an invitation to them to come to the fair. And the sessions are useful, too, which is a huge bonus. It makes us feel better knowing the Toy Fair organizers are looking out for the ‘little guy,’ too.”
The North American International Toy Fair is offering two Independent Thinking sessions on Feb. 14 and 15 aimed at small business toy retailers talking about how to increase sales and how to retain customers by going beyond customer service.
With solid sales of its Animal Kingdom Safari 30-piece 5-in-1 building block set throughout the 2014 Christmas season, Click-A-Brick has done well carving out its own niche in the building block toy segment as an independent toy business.