In-Person Toy Shows Coming Back Starting with Toy Fair Dallas in October, A/C/A plans to return to setting appointments at in-person toy shows. If you're headed to Dallas, let us know if you'd like an appointment to visit any of our vendors. Steve is looking forward to seeing you there! If you're not doing shows yet, we are fully set up for virtual meetings on the platfrom of your choice. Contact us for your representation needs, or for information on availability of any of our lines for your retail outlet.
Explore Scientific Stands Out by Embracing Video(posted February 2021)
In keeping with the theme of standouts in the current situation of all things virtual, our latest vendor spotlight is on Explore Scientific. Early on, when it became apparent that most (if not all) of their Fall 2021 meetings would be held via video, Explore Scientific took the bull by the horns and set up a permanent showroom/studio, complete with camera equipment and lighting, in their Arkansas headquarters. It certainly didn’t hurt that these folks already deal with some pretty high-tech products. Explore Scientific is the industry leader in consumer optics including telescopes, microscopes, and binoculars, as well as many other outdoor/adventure products, with a range of products to fit every need and price point. But employees went the extra mile to learn new jobs as camera operators, on-camera presenters, and more. And their commitment to production values in their virtual presentations really showed - at every single presentation they made with A/C/A this season, our buyers invariably commented that it was the best toy presentation they had seen, and how much they appreciated being able to get such a good look at the items.
Below is a video link to a short presentation with Jeff Cepeilek of Explore Scientific of some highlighted items for 2021. This was put together for Mid-States, but is a great look at some of the great Fall 2021 items they have in general, as well as how professionally they are presented. Enjoy!
Explore Scientific 2021 Highlights
Mid-States' Virtual Show platform Leads the Way(posted February 2021)
You may have heard about virtual shows that are a disappointing shadow of the real thing. But when the Mid-States Distributing Co.'s Toy Extravaganza went virtual in January, it was anything but a disappointment!
The reason – Mid-States is way out in front as a leader in the virtual show platform arena, and their format proved that there’s a huge opportunity for enhanced customer engagement, content, and productivity in the virtual format, if it’s done right. The show’s design was conceived to be as much like a real-life show as possible, with a booth for each vendor. From the booth, you could easily view specials, watch video presentations, and download files, in addition to the main event - entering a video chat to meet with a rep in person. A/C/A and several of our vendors set up virtual booths with toy samples in their offices, so that Steve and the reps could easily show and demonstrate items for the booth visitors. In addition, the vendors were offered opportunities to put on featured presentations and sponsor treats for the participants. There were even door prizes!
Another nice feature is that the show site is left up after the show, for the convenience of buyers to go back and look at all the resources at their leisure. All in all, the show was a roaring success, and the Mid-States platform is a great example of just how “real” a virtual show can be.
CDX Coaster receives Top Toy Award(posted August 2020) The Little Dipper roller coaster model from A/C/A's client CDX Blocks was a recipient of Learning Express's Toy Toy Award for 2020. Congratulations CDX Blocks! See their line of unique working construction block-based roller coaster models on our Vendors page.
Diecast Masters CAT line featured on YouTube(posted July 2020) The complete line of collectible 1:64 diecast CAT vehicle models from Dicast Masters was featured in a series of videos on the popular YouTube channel Diecast Emporium. This channel, created by collectibles expert Tommy Strobel, reaches over 7,000 subscribers and features extensive, detailed reviews and demonstrations. The line has been very well received in the diecast enthusiast community as a welcome addition that will be sought after by collectors. Awesome exposure for this line, with the customers who are the most interested!
Playtime Fun offers Life-Sized Huggable Dolls(posted July 2020) A/C/A recently welcomed Playtime Fun to our roster of new and unique vendors. Their adorable new line of Love & Hug Rag Dolls comes in all sizes, ranging from 12" to a life-sized, huggable 48 inches tall! These adorable dolls are thoughtfully made with brightly colored clothing, soft yarn hair, and precious embroidered faces. See more of the cuteness in the catalog on our Vendors page, and contact A/C/A for more information on purchasing these soft and huggable rag doll friends.
Mid-States 2020 Toy Rendezvous(posted May 2020)
(A/C/A Associates had a great show at this year’s Mid-States Toy Extravaganza in February. Two of our vendors (NKOK, Inc. and Best Ride On Cars) were each awarded one of the top-level Paddle Buy promotions. There are only a handful of these in the entire show. Along with those, we also had multiple items selected for Show Only Buys and Show Specials. And to top it all off, our booth received the “Best Booth” Award in the multi-vendor category! Thanks to all of our vendors for providing the booth samples to allow us to really showcase their products.
Diecast Masters joins A/C/A (posted May 2020)
(Jan. 2020) We’re thrilled to announce that we are now providing representation for Diecast Masters for farm channel stores across the US. Their new line of finely detailed, true-to-life 1: 64 scale die-cast metal CAT construction vehicles was presented at the Mid-States show, and includes three brand new models. These beauties are highly collectible and have all the details and quality you expect from Diecast Masters. Check out all their offerings on our Vendors page!
CDX Blocks Introduces New Looping Coaster Model(posted May 2020)
Up and over! The Sidewinder from CDX Blocks blazes new trails by being the first block-based looping roller coaster kit! With a slick look modeled after contemporary steel-rail style coasters, the Sidewinder twists and turns its way through its compact layout. Like all the CDX models, this fun and easy to assemble kit features realistic operation using a chain to haul the train to the top of the hill, with gravity taking over from there. Available Fall 2020.
See it in action here:
Best Ride on Cars introduces new RealTree styles(posted May 2020)
One of our newer vendor clients, Best Ride On Cars, brought the RealTree fun in a BIG way for 2020 with 12V ride-on cars in new styles and colors, all in sharp-looking officially licensed RealTree camo designs. And they have even more ideas in the works for 2021! These are not your average ride-on toys; little drivers are riding in style in these trucks, ATVs, and UTVs that are packed with cool electronic features like Bluetooth capability, video screens, lights and sounds, and more, plus fun features like opening doors and working storage compartments. View the latest catalog on our Vendors page!
CDX Blocks featured on Coaster101.com
The Cyclone roller coaster set from CDX Blocks, newly launched this fall, was recently featured in an article on the top ten building block sets for amusement park fans on the website Coaster101.com! Read the article below.
Coaster101.com is known as your online destination for all of the ins-and-outs and twists-and-turns of roller coasters and the amusement industry.