Why Your Store is Missing a Golden Opportunity – If there has ever been a time to take a step outside of your proverbial comfort zone and diversify your product inventory, it is now. Never in the history of this thing of ours, collectively called “The Hobby” have collectors been more engaged in multiple types of collecting activity. Furthermore, American pop culture in and of itself, provides a bevy of collecting opportunities.
Why Your Store is Missing a Golden Opportunity – Sports Figures & Figurines
Did you get burned by going “all-in” on Starting Line-ups in the 1980’s and ’90’s? Has that prohibited you from carrying McFarlane SportsPicks? Why? In the last few years, McFarlane Toys has completely retooled their design process to incorporate collector level figures outside the simple variant issue. If you are carrying NBA basketball trading cards but not figures of players in your local market or league superstars, you may be missing the opportunity to increase sales incrementally.
Sports related action figures aren’t simply relegated to McFarlane SportsPicks. A company called Enterbay uses a patented 3D rendering technology to create incredibly realistic head sculptures never before seen in the hobby. These high-end figurines aren’t mere toys. They are truly limited collectibles that cater to a higher-end collector that prides themselves on the premium pieces in their collection. Think your Exquisite, Eminence, Dynasty, The Cup, National Treasures customers. That’s who these pieces appeal too.
Why Your Store is Missing a Golden Opportunity – Trading Card Games (TCGs)
In the United States last year, the average Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic the Gathering tournaments were attended by hundreds players. These events take place in multiple venues throughout the country, all year long. Not to mention Pokémon, Dragonball Z and other popular trading card games. But we get it. You don’t understand TCGs (trading card games) and CCGs (collectible card games). With all of the online resources at your disposal, not understanding shouldn’t be an excuse. We can help you understand the craze that is trading card games and tournament game play. Don’t let another year pass without at least making a commitment to try carrying a few popular TCG titles.
Why Your Store is Missing a Golden Opportunity – What’s a Brony?
Are you familiar with the term “Brony”? It refers to the surprisingly large, male fan base for the acclaimed My Little Pony TV show. Think I’m lying, here are the results of a Google search. They even have their own convention, BronyCon! So have you not carried My Little Pony trading cards and figures because you think your male dominate clientele wouldn’t be a good target market? Don’t be so sure.
Enterplay and IDW hold the licenses for several My Little Pony collectibles including trading cards, fun packs and collectible dog tags. Tying into the aforementioned trading card games, MLP (My Little Pony) even has its own line of highly popular games.
Why Your Store is Missing a Golden Opportunity – Entertainment Trading Cards
If you have never carried an entertainment trading card (non-sports) line in your store, this is the year that has to change. Why? Two simple words. Star Wars. The record setting release of the franchise’s seventh film has not only garnered a new generation of fans but because of the seamlessly integrated tie-in to the original trilogy, is bringing back older fans and former collectors.
Will you be able to cater to their needs?
Topps has done a remarkable job with the Star Wars license through the years and 2015 and 2016 have and will be no different. If you don’t have at least a few boxes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on your shelf . . . . why not? We aren’t suggesting you change your entire business model from a sports card store to a Star Wars nerd den, but look at the opportunity as low hanging fruit. Don’t believe us? Try this, put a Topps Star Wars poster in your store window and see what happens.
Entertainment trading cards have never been more popular with a wider audience of collector than ever before. In fact we regularly hear from sports collectors who are starting to spend an equal amount, if not more money, on entertainment cards than sports cards. Why?
A lot of it has to do with the absolute fantastic subject material available from TV and film. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made comic book culture main stream. With releases from Upper Deck chronicling the exploits of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the rest of The Avengers, the hobby is going through a transformation where fans are becoming collectors and collectors are becoming fans.
Not to mention highly rated and critically acclaimed TV shows like The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory, Arrow and Sons of Anarchy that, thanks to Cryptozoic Entertainment, have all been given well-crafted and produced trading card sets. And that is just to name a few of the numerous titles available to fans and collectors.
Why Your Store is Missing a Golden Opportunity – Sports Collectible Games
Just in the last year, two new companies have come on the scene, each with a sports collectible game. The first is Platinum Series Baseball, First Edition. While it harkens backs to the days of MLB Showdown, the company has added some unique game play elements. And while it’s true that video games like MLB The Show have replaced the interest of many a tabletop game player, they still do exist.
The second is a combination figure and trading card game from Import Dragons. The game incorporates 2.5″ figures, dice and skill cards. For rabid figure collectors, the company has launched a high-quality 6″ line. Again, while some may question the need for a second NHL figure manufacturer or another sports collectibles dice/card game, the answer is simple, because there is still a demand.
Why Your Store is Missing a Golden Opportunity – Princesses are Cool!
I can’t count the number of times that I have walked into a hobby shop on a weekend and witnessed dad’s with their kids. Which is great. However, often times at least one of those children is a girl. While girls can certainly be sports fans (trust me as a father of 10 and 7 year old girls, myself) at that age, they still gravitate to princesses. Frozen, Sofia the First and the Disney Princesses are all popular entities in my house.
It’s always surprised me that while Dad is busting packs in search of hits, often times the girls are left bored. Thankfully, Panini America has an answer to that conundrum and has produced sticker products of each of the aforementioned princess properties. Does your store carry impulse and time occupying items that cater to young girls? At their affordable price points, its certainly worth the investment.
So make this the year that you try something different. Call it a speculative investment. If it doesn’t pan out, try something else. We are confident that given the right product mix, marketing attention and time, you can grow your business with a diversified inventory in ways you never imagined.