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Author Topic: The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular  (Read 188 times)
thatreevesgirl
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The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular
« on: March 02, 2008, 05:47:46 AM »

Now that I've been doing this artist alley thing for a few years now, I have noticed that there are definite trends in what merch is popular in the artist alley (I'm sure that a lot of you vets have seen it too).  It changes by geographic location also, but for the most part there are certain items that are hugely in and then out in a few months. 

Last year at this time prints were in, now they are out.  Buttons have been out for at least eighteen months, but they were magically revived in 2008 (at least in my region).  Hats have been popular, but I see them starting to wane.  Cosplay items, especially unique things, are completely in.  Basically, if a person can buy it in a store, or see it on the internet, it's out.  Custom stuff that they are unable to make for themselves = totally in.

I feel like I'm in the fashion industry or something because of these weird popularity trends.  I think it is always fun to see when someone does something new and it is the "in thing" for the con, but then the next cons the studio that did it doesn't have as strong of sales. 

You don't have to share anything if you don't want (especially if it is your own unique creation that is popular and you don't want the idea to be stolen, my studio has a unique and yet uncopied item that always brings us in about $300-$400 per con for that product alone), but have you seen stuff from other artists or from your studio that has been really popular? 

Just for reference, I'm upper midwest, like Kansas on up.  I know that when I hit Oklahoma last year it was like some of those kids were starved for some particular merch that they must not see often.  I'm kinda curious to know what is popular on the coasts, or in the south, or even up in Canada.  Even if it is just about the main merch that we all see (ex. = prints, bookmarks, keychains, badges, magnets, buttons, plushies, cosplay, hats, comics, bags/purses, custom clothing, etc.).  All sharing of info would be great.

I'll weigh in what I've seen at midwest cons (I starred what I sell or have sold in the past with a *)

Midwest (Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota) and Oklahoma XD
*Buttons=good
*Hats=good (and ones with ears are really in this year, revival of the furries?)
*Prints=bad (but were great the first half of last year)
*Bookmarks=good
*Badges=were good, now waning
*Magnets=not that good
*custom plushies of anime characters=really good
*custom plushies (like oniguri)=good
comics=kind of bleh
bags and purses=okay
*t-shirts/hoodies=depends, a little less than okay
*Cosplay Items=really good
*Keychains=good
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hp
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Re: The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2008, 08:57:35 AM »

I'm glad to know this stuff!!! I didn't think magnets would do well but I didn't know keychains did really well either.  I am planning on making custom vinyl dolls like the ones you can find on kidrobot (think rubby ducky material) so I'll be testing the waters for that.

I found some printable stuff in the store that I haven't found before at cons so I'm going to try that out.  This probably doesn't count as cosplay items necessarily but I'm making custom "packages" of items for people who like to be part of fanlistings/clubs or roleplay with original characters.  They'll be able to choose from a huge variety of symbols and chibis and colors from different series and their respective fanclubs online.
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tkawaii
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Re: The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2008, 11:57:54 AM »

I have plenty of ideas that I know would work and some I've already tried and did well in comparison.

thing is though, for this year I have too much on my plate, I'll come back with a bang next year thought (which will be my official third year after which Im no longer a rookie but a novice ^^)
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Chrislea
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Re: The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2008, 12:58:15 PM »

I've been looking to expand with little clue of what I should try. This is a neat idea.
I've only done cons in Texas, region-wise.  Originals don't sell well at all.  People would rather pay less (or nothing) for prints.  I've had good luck with bookmarks - I print supa-low-quality ones to hand out for free, and people still ask me how much they cost.  Greeting cards do better or worse depending on where I am and if holidays are near (but never well enough to make it worth the effort of printing them again). 

That's my tiny addition.  Hope it's useful to someone.  ^^
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bigbigtruck
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Re: The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2008, 01:03:54 PM »

I find it varies from con to con. I sold a bunch of prints at Ikkicon, but hardly any at Oni, etc...
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tkawaii
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Re: The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2008, 04:16:32 PM »

holiday related things I think is tricky. I would like to try calenders for next year. Bishounen theme
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neverblue
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Re: The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2008, 10:47:56 PM »

i've always been scared of doing calendars cause i never know when to start selling them. there aren't many cons near me during the holidays.

on etsy i think notebooks/journals and stationaries seem to be doing well, but etsy isn't really the same crowd as anime con people.
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tkawaii
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Re: The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2008, 09:41:45 AM »

Id start my calender in may to may
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neverblue
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Re: The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2008, 12:53:18 PM »

....i totally did not ever thing of that. lol. that's so smart.
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hp
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Re: The Ebb and Flow of What is Popular
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2008, 04:29:46 PM »

I think what conceptart does is make their calendars timeless, as in, fill in the days and months but not the date (as in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.).  It's really not that hard for customers to fill out.  Personally I don't start using calendars until it's almost too late in the yr, so this is a better way for me to make full use of a calendar.
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hpslashlover.deviantart.com (fanart, cartoons)
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