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
*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)
*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