Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things are very quiet right now. Next week we unveil our 2010 product line up. It will be great. We have signed a bunch of new licenses and artists. For the last 12 weeks we have been working on this line. We have created some really unique puzzle formats and matched them up with artists and licenses.

Almost everyday for the last 12 weeks there have been meetings, e-mails, phone calls, and other forms of communication to work out all the details of the products. Not only were we under the gun to get everything done and samples made for the show, but my creative director got married last weekend. She was really great these last weeks (she is always great, but especially these last few weeks). She planned a big time wedding and put the finishing touches on our line. I am not sure how she did it. I do not think she slept much the last few weeks.

So now all the samples are on their way to Dallas. Next Monday is set up day.

Our appointments are made (we still have slots open, so go ahead and make an appointment!). Samples are in route. And it is suddenly very quiet.

I can not wait for next week and see the reaction to all this hard work.


Monday, September 21, 2009

I have not found many blogs about the toy industry. The leader as far as I can tell is Richard Gottlieb at www.playthings.com. He does a good job of keeping his ear to the ground about the toy industry. I find myself checking out his blog fairly often both for his comments and the comments left by others.

This week he wrote an entry about a novel that uses puzzles in the narrative.


I have not read the book, but with a bunch of travel coming up in October, I will grab a copy and read it on the airplane. I liked what Richard wrote about the ability of puzzles to bring people together. Everyone is looking for ways to connect today. A good puzzle, a cup of coffee (or Diet Coke), and a bag of popcorn is sure to facilitate hours of conversation and comradery.

Once you get to Richards blog, be sure to spend some time looking through his archives. He has a lot of insight about what is going in the toy industry and the toy aisle.

And if you know of any other blogs about toys and puzzles, let me know.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

This weekend has seen a real spike in folks visiting our web site and blog. Our puzzles are on shelves all across the country. They are finding their way into peoples homes. The feedback from around the country has been great. I have worked for companies that sold products nationwide, but this is different. A lot of people have worked really had to make this happen.

In particular I heard from a person in Florida who is really enjoying our line of 100pc puzzles. I am glad. I can remember picking the images for this line last year and thinking we had picked a particularly good set of really cute and interesting images. I am glad you agreed! And do not worry about buying out all the puzzles on the shelf. We will make more!


Monday, September 7, 2009

A nice article in the Sunday paper here in town on the Lafayette Puzzle Factory. I wish I could claim all the credit for our initial success, but I can't. I have a lot of help.


Overall, I thought the series of articles captured the mood in Lafayette quite well. Despite setbacks, most people are optimistic things will get better. They just are not sure when. But everyone hopes soon.

Lafayette does have a great economic foundation with Purdue University, the medical community and being the county seat. Add to that the heavy industry companies (CAT, Subaru, Wabash National) and their sub-contractors, and while things are tough, the economy is pretty diverse. We are not reliant on just one major employer like a lot of towns.

I am confident things will turn around soon here and across the country.


PS: I should clarify one aspect of the article. I never took a buy out from Warren Industries. I resigned on my own after considering a relocation to another division in New Jersey. The job with the sporting goods company was with Tippmann Sports in Ft. Wayne, IN. Tippmann makes paintball guns. They are a great company and make a great product right in Ft. Wayne. I enjoyed working there and still keep in touch with many of my former co-workers. Anyone looking to buy a paintball gun should look for a Tippmann. I have an A5 with an e-grip. It is great fun to use and very easy to maintain.