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"We put the animate in the inanimate."
April 4, 2012 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt visits Toy Fair.
posted by Faint of Butt (21 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
*4*D shark puzzle? Get these kids off my hyperlawn.
posted by DU at 10:55 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Outside the Javits Center, we see a man controlling a large toy car and I ask, "Hey, can you give me a ride?" He pretends not to hear me. He's very serious.
"Gosh, I hadn't heard that one before -- how unbelievably witty of you! Are you a *writer*?"
posted by smidgen at 11:07 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Turned out a to be a far better and interesting read than I thought.

That said, how many folks here have worked a booth at a large show ? It is exhausting. Until the free beer starts coming out.
posted by k5.user at 11:12 AM on April 4, 2012


The pot paints the kettle black.
posted by fairmettle at 11:15 AM on April 4, 2012


I worked a booth at a small-to-medium show. With a terrible product. And we didn't get beer. I got a keychain but I lost it.
posted by DU at 11:15 AM on April 4, 2012


I worked a booth and handed out free liquor under the table during professional hour.

It was a popular booth.
posted by The Whelk at 11:19 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I took the bar exam at the Javits center. I remember it as a place of suffering and darkness. Who would put toys in it? It's basically a bleak gray dungeon in which misery dwells. Are the toys placed there ironically? Perched on the stain left by the bleach used to clean up the vomit of the girl who sat in front of my friend Charlie? They both just kept taking the exam after she threw up. Her vomit sat there next to her desk. Then time passed and they had some toys there in booths. Now all those toys are haunted. The toys absorbed the lingering ghosts of bar exam suffering. The toys are evil. I would sue the toys, but I'm not a lawyer.
posted by prefpara at 11:21 AM on April 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


this whole thing made me queasy

i would be hard pressed to elaborate what it is but this article has this whole milieu
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:27 AM on April 4, 2012


Sample scenarios include "Your spouse is not putting effort into maintaining a strong marriage" and "Your friend is passing around a marijuana cigarette."

I choose scenario B!
posted by ook at 11:40 AM on April 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Lego won't even let us into their booth. You need an appointment, and the receptionist won't let us peek even though there's nobody else around. At Comic-con, they pile Legos on the floor and let you swim in them! Just sayin'.
This is interesting in how clearly it reveals the differing strategy at these two cons. It's obvious that, to Lego, Comicon is a function of marketing, not sales. The message at Comicon is: "Lego! A true geek icon! You love Lego, and Lego loves you!" Whereas at the toy industry con, it's: "Want to talk shelf space for the new line? Have an appointment?"
posted by gilrain at 11:41 AM on April 4, 2012


I love these sorts of articles - the AV Club usually does a similar one for a big candy expo each year. I wonder if expos for fun things generally have a problem with gatecrashers.
posted by missix at 11:42 AM on April 4, 2012


"We put the animate in the inanimate."

Rule 34. No exceptions.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:50 AM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Loved this. If you liked it too, here are Lisa's Illustrated Review of War Horse, What Dogs Want, Drive, and Illustrated Response, Fashion Week Animals in Hats, Rise of the Planet of the Apes: An Illustrated Response, and Rumors I've Heard about Anna Wintour.
posted by ooga_booga at 12:20 PM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh my lord that live fish bear thing. Who knew the company from The Situation had a stand at Toy Fair?
posted by emmtee at 12:55 PM on April 4, 2012


Big soft rumps.
posted by euphorb at 12:58 PM on April 4, 2012


I can never get enough of "This guy thought he was the coolest dude on the planet."
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:42 PM on April 4, 2012


I absolutely love Lisa Hanawalt's work. Just another gentle push to go check out her other work, even if this didnt super work for you.
posted by fillsthepews at 9:16 PM on April 4, 2012


I wonder if expos for fun things generally have a problem with gatecrashers.

All expos do - fun expos have the best toys but boring tech and medical conference expos have tons of giveaways for iPads and such, as well as distracted people carrying expensive kit. Homeless folks and thieves grab discarded passes and hit them all the time.
posted by Blue Meanie at 10:32 PM on April 4, 2012


Amusing. Fortunately many of the toys she mentions have web presences:

Teddy Tank "Tanks" for your Friendship!
ABUNDANT HARVEST for Teens & Adults (US Patent No. 7,073,792) even grimmer than expected
Americoob which may be fun but this promotional video is not making a strong case
4D Shark Anatomy Puzzle (this one actually looks good)

The weird thing is that most of them seem to be patented or patent-pending. How the hell do you get a patent on something like this?
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:34 AM on April 5, 2012


Patenting a board-game is almost always a sign of over-enthusiastic amateurism, unless you're Wizards of the Coast.

I've done London Toy Fair, and it's a trade show. Most of the people working the booths aren't from product development or creative, they're from sales or marketing, or they're outside help hired for the event. The items on display aren't toys, they're units of product.

...though a couple of years ago there was someone on the Schliech booth who was clearly in as much awe of the Mighty Fighter Elephant as I was, and we shared a geek-out moment, and that was fun.
posted by Hogshead at 8:28 AM on April 5, 2012


Dammit Hogshead, I thought you had just found me the Greatest Home Security System Ever for a minute. That thing won't kill an intruder unless he trips on it or eats the rider and chokes.
posted by Blue Meanie at 10:51 AM on April 5, 2012


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