Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I had the pleasure of getting to know Marty Abrams back
at the Megocon2004 convention and since then I've been very impressed with his business sense. I'll never forget the way he swaggered in to the convention center full of confidence with his slick black leather jacket. He was in his element and he knew it yet at the same time so very humble and accomodating. To put it simply, Marty Abrams was a master at marketing. The way he alerted buyers to new product was ground breaking. His renting out New Yorks Waldorf Astoria, inviting over 1500 buyers, retailers, celebrities and actors to announce his new Wizard of Oz toy line led to over $20,000,000.00 in advanced orders. Not bad for a line he had no confidence in.

Even more so was his cost cutting ways, the way he watched where every penny went had a lot to do with his domination of Aisle 7 for just about a decade. Marty even went so far as to build his own factory in Hong Kong after getting tired of outsourcing. With frequent trips to the Orient, Marty was not afraid to get his hands dirty while he learned the ins and outs of the business. Always thinking he could do better than his competition, and much of the time doing just that, Marty came up with a lot of cost saving ideas. One such idea was to reuse existing molds and playsets in order to get more bang for his buck. Talk about stretching a dollar! He would constantly refreshen packaging in an effort to always keep things looking fresh on the shelves and remember people, this was back in the 1970's. Marty was writing the book as he went along which is still in use today. Some industry insiders even go so far as saying that Marty was part showman and part toy exec. I would agree whole heartedly. Add to this his being one of the first to utilize blister card packaging, regional warehousing ( the goal here was to get product to store shelves before his competition ) and what you have amounts to one very shrewd buisnessman not to mention sales in the tens of millions of dollars in the early to mid 70's.
Below are three such examples of his reusing of existing playsets.

Action Jackson Lost Continent playset

Planet of the Apes Village playset

Worlds Greatest Superheroes Batcave playset


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