Another Paradigm Shift

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Posted by Charles on September 08, 1999 at 00:17:37:

In related news, the toy industry is experiencing some interesting times.

Once the mighty mover and shaker in animation, the toy biz is not what it used to be. The overbloated giants who control the industry find themselves in many ways hard pressed to compete with smaller Internet startups.

Take for example Toys R Us. They once controlled more than 50% of the retail toy trade. They had so much power, in their arrogance they would direct toy manufacturers as to how their new toy lines should look. Last year, they lost $132 million, a victim of changing trends by kids in toy preference, savvy competition from Walmart and online toy shopping sites like Etoys. Toys R Us promised their shareholders that they would be the leaders in the online toy market by the end of this year, but they've failed at unseating Etoys through a series of embarassing corporate setbacks.

Of course, they're not going to go away, at least not yet, but they're certainly not the king anymore. The moral of this story? No one is too big to be a victim of a smaller, quicker, smarter operation that can utilize new production, distribution and marketing methods, especially in the business environment that the Internet has created.

Big shot board room executives and a fatted managerial staff are not necessarily a formula for success. Certainly not in this day and age. If it can happen in the toy industry, who's to say that it can't happen in animation?

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