TRADESHOW SEASON, HERE WE ARE!

“It's Friday night, I got tears in my eyes, I have to go to hell before I get to heaven, big ole Jet Airliner!”  I don't have tears in my eyes, but I am hitting the road Monday, off to Nuremberg, Toy Fair.  The Toy Fair with the killer name – Spielwarenmess…make sure to pronounce those “W’s” like “V’s”.  Maybe I have a couple tears.  The forecast is 70 degrees all week in Los Angeles, snowy and chilly all week in Nuremberg.  My tan will have to wait, break out the John Snow cape and coat, let’s get froze!   Forget “woke”, I’m about to get “froze”!  It’s exciting regardless.  It's great to see TLS growing in Europe – Heo, PBM, Bandai, all towing the TLS banner, preaching the gospel of Action Vinyls – “You can get with this, or you can get with that”, don't forget the gas face on the “that”.  Don’t forget the Flavor Flav grin on the “this”. 

 

This is my 5th year at Spielwarenmesse.   A gigantic octopus like convention hall in the middle of a Bavarian Forest.  The ground, usually snow white, the air, chilled crisp, fast moving feet, coat checks, buzzing, whizzing, whirling toyetic items all on display.  As if Santa’s Workshop exploded right before your very eyes.  Eyes thirsty, drinking in fantastic train sets, complete with mini ski lifts, fake plastic trees (queue Radiohead, but leave the melancholy), tiny skiers sliding down slopes made from Santa’s magic or elfin pixie dust.  And, this is all taking place in Bavaria.  Disney, the man himself, could only imagine.  He then scaled it up and turned it into Disneyland, but here is the real thing…the smells of coca and coffee filling the Halls, it's quite magical.  This is not to forget the insidiousness of the occupant who once called this magical place home.  The “never forget” monuments are in view, contrasting with a toy show, innocence, fun, exhilaration…the contrast is shuddering if you stop to think.  But so it is, we are there, and so goes the toy industry, in all of its whizzing wizardry, camping out in the forests of Bavaria for a magical week.  The Loyal Subjects, just a small part, but big in heart, big in spirit, and optimistic about showing our European friends why Action Vinyls are so damn cool.

 

These are the middle innings of Toy Fair season. The Closer?  New York Toy Fair…our piece de resistance!  I’m focused still on Nuremberg, wanting to do a great job, tow the TLS rope, move the needle by offering visceral experiences, not cheap ole plastic by the pound!  No gimmicks, just the straight sh*t – fun, killer quality, engaging, story vehicles that are imagination starters, and motivators!  Take that plastic pound pushers!  So I go, to tell the folks over there, what the folks over here already know.  It’s only a matter of time.

 

I’m late for dinner, I promised my girlfriend that the doors to the office would be locked by 8p, but, still I sit here writing.  My fingers pounding the keep board like hammers on piano strings.  Trying to get all my thoughts out before setting sail to the shores of loose ends and chores for the weekend.  I will have to hustle this up, I’m in danger of missing dinner, then banished to the couch with my dog, Roxie.  Let's hope I still have some charm left to soften my lateness.

Last weekend, my girlfriend and I jumped down to a local Italian joint, right next to the World Famous Troubadour.  A spot called Dan Tanas.  Always live. Friendly, interesting, and exciting, there’s always “someone” who you’ll run into.  This time, Mike Mills the bassist from REM.  We ended up hanging with him all night, he sat down had dinner with my girlfriend and I, we drink wine, slammed lava hot fried zucchinis down our pelican throats.  It was a fun night.  He invited us to Athens, GA, I told him I would take him up on his offer.  We never let on that we knew it was Mike Mills.  Towards the end of the night after having a few glasses of wine, the guard lets down, the tongues starts to drag; he leaned over and said, “Well, I’m a musician, a pretty darn good one.”  We still didn’t let on.  Kind of cool just having dinner with a total stranger just happened to the bassist of REM. 

 

Have a fantastic weekend guys.  I promise to keep up the blog with new news, exciting things, nothing to do with anything stories, you name it.  I’m turning a leaf so we can keep those conversations going on the regular.

Mike Mills

 

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