The Designer Toy Doldrums
It's quite possible that you've read about Rotofugi and the financial strain they've encountered recently. If you haven't read the open letter, I've pasted it after the break. Kirby and Whitney Kerr run one of the last remaining bastions for designer toy aficionados. They've won Best Toy Store or Best Online Toy Store in the Designer Toy Awards (as voted upon by the fans) since those categories were introduced in 2012.
If you've followed the designer toy industry, it's not a surprising turn of events. In all of my years running Plastic and Plush, Rotofugi has never advertised on this site. I noticed they do have ads on other designer toy news sites. I've also noticed that the number of online and brick and mortar designer toy shops have plummeted since 2008. Looking back at this site in 2008, comparing the number of advertisers, shows you how the market has tanked.
But this doesn't only impact toy stores. It's a great example of true trickle down economics. Designer toy companies start shutting down...then the stores that specialize in those toys...then the news sites that report about them.
Personally, this has been a huge hit to me and Plastic and Plush. I haven't been able to attend San Diego Comic Con due to the lack of funds generated from Plastic and Plush. Honestly, I'm paying to bring you the news. I still enjoy doing it. But when it has come to a choice of going to Comic Con or paying for speech lessons for my son...things are easily put into context.