I need to get something off my chest, and I’m willing to accept the ramifications. As an owner of a toy company, we are subjected to something every single year mid-Q3. Santa skims approximately 6.5% of our inventory and pays us in “good cheer” which (from what I can gather) is a mix of karma, prayers and good wishes. It starts as a tremendous honor. Nice to be recognized by Santa and his elves. Startup toy companies don’t tend to have much on children’s wish lists, but as a company grows, the skim cuts deeper. It strains the profitability of the industry, and explains the historical profit underperformance of the sector versus other large consumer packaged goods companies. I only mention this now, because the Elves’ shakedown (or tickle-down as they call it) this year was particularly fun but left us dizzy and a little nauseous. This was compounded by a completely unexpected call from the Chanukah Fairies, who appear to be equally cheerful, fewer in number versus the Elves, but HIGHLY motivated with 8 days to fill. Adding in the Elves on Shelves, Menches on Benches and other new magical creatures, we could be subjected to as much as 9-10% inventory losses in 2016! Ultimately, this impacts you the consumer — as we, the manufacturers, raise our wholesale price to the stores, who, in turn, charge you a higher retail. I should also mention that Santa’s “good cheer” comes in a tangible form. It’s the golden dust left behind as Santa visits homes. By December this dust is entirely benign with little magical qualities but a sparkle and glimmer but when Santa and his elves create this dust early Q3 (before visiting us for the tickle-down), it is extraordinarily potent. Inhaling a single particle of this dust in September can charm an entire team of people into handing over said inventory and then forgetting entirely. I didn’t inhale this year. I feel that it’s my duty to make you aware of this, and as I write this I can hear the Elves approaching over the horizon with dust in hand… I won’t remember any of this tomorrow.