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Image of The Toy Man News & Reviews Chief Editor, Rev. James G.W. Fisher     ABC Kids Expo vs PLUSH... 
Is A Changing of The Guard On The Horizon?
by: Rev. James G.W. Fisher
There are plenty of words flying around that ABC this and PLUSH that but the unquestionable reality is that the facts speak for themselves. After weeks of gathering information and a large volume of feedback on the two trade shows, signs are apparent that a changing of the guard may be on the horizon.

A Changing Of The Guard? Yeah, Right!
"Not everyone sees through the same colored glasses."

I'm sure for some people, the very idea of even thinking of such a thing is nothing short of insane; or so I would have thought until recent happenings over the past few days.  Signs now seem to point to a time of change.

If you look at the history of any industry, every major success is but for a season. Change is a part of every business industry.  Eventually signs begin to emerge, hinting that something with a greater sense of WOW!; something that adds greater diversity and stimulates a greater competitive drive.

Many times, when something points to an inevitable change to occur, many people prefer to go into denial, afraid of the change and the potential good or bad that may come from it. For others, they simply defer giving it any attention because they assume it will not happen any time soon. Then there are those that despise that inevitable change, knowing that their time of prominence will soon be ended.

Let's Look At The Facts
"Facts speak far loud than mere words."

In our independent research which was global in scope, we discovered many interesting details and opinions associated with ABC and PLUSH.  Our research efforts included a variety of surveys with retailers, boutique shops, product developers, and a diverse range of other sources globally, not just the U.S.   The information gathered ranged from general unproven rumor, to facts that cannot be disputed.

In the sections to follow, I will focus on specifics about both ABC and PLUSH, providing important details I feel have a significant impact on your current and future investment. This is all based upon unquestionable facts only.  Rumors and hearsay were not considered.

It is is of the highest priority to remember that investment in a trade show is an important business matter.  Bad decisions can make or break a company.  It is my most sincere hope that the information provided here will help you make more informed business decisions in this regard.

ABC Kids
"The world of juvenile products all in one place."

ABC Kids Expo has been around for quite some time.  It originated from JPMA's early days and has since grown to be the largest juvenile and maternity expo in the states.  Major industry names have been a part of ABC for quite some time and are the primary nucleus for ABC's success.

As with everything else in life, there are pros and cons. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of ABC.


  • ABC has had a long term history in the industry with a consistent following of major industry names
  • ABC has a partnership with JPMA
  • ABC has a diverse as well as extensive variety of products and services for buyers to learn about and buyer make use of.
  • Domestic and International buyers and manufacturers are participating


  • ABC has a primary focus to become the largest juvenile and maternity show around.  Industry needs have become a secondary
  • The recent history of  ABC jumping from Las Vegas, then to Louisville, KY for two years then back to Las Vegas has created a substantial domino effect of detrimental impact on exhibitors and buyers alike
  • ABC is now trying to expand the scope of their shows to China.  This puts companies at risk in the Chinese marketplace as well as diffuses ABC's functionality and effectiveness for the industry needs.
  • ABC has had complaints from exhibitors for YEARS, requesting the show to be one less day due to the last day is generally a pulse barely even being present.  Despite the compalints, ABC had made no effort to change that.
  • ABC is so large and with such redundancy of products, that interest of seeing entire show floors is rapidly waning. This is resulting in exhibitors and buyers alike seeking alternative options for promotion and sales of their products
  • Attention to exhibitor's details and needs is limited to near non-existent
  • Severely lacking, undistinctive and monotonous viewing in a sterile environment of white walls, cement pillars, and carton structure floor plan similar to a tic tac toe diagram
  • Aggressive pressure on exhibitors to abide by ABC contractual agreements to the letter.  This includes reminders delivered via email in bold text to obey or face eviction, forfeiture of fees paid and additional legal action
  • The show business model no longer supports the industry as it once did.
  • ABC brings in millions of dollars each year yet nothing readily shows the benefit of this to the small industry channels
  • ABC does not allow for competitive market opportunity which impedes the stimulation of market interest and growth
  • Pricing for booth space and other services has not adjusted with the current economical state in the industry

"The Posh Little Urbanites Show"

PLUSH is an entirely different creature from ABC.  I guess you could say that comparing ABC to PLUSH would be like comparing a KIA to a Bentley! The October 2013 PLUSH Show Preview will be much like going to a luxury model home debut.  Unlike ABC, you are getting a glimpse of the options which can be tailored to exactly what you are looking for in your future investment at a more fair and equitable price rate.

Taking this analogy a step further. Some model home offerings can be rather stale and just standard with limited features to grab your attention.  Then there are others that literally WOW!! you before you even enter the front door. The World Market Center in Las Vegas, NV is one of those models that will really WOW!! you.

The October 2013 PLUSH Show Preview will be at the World Market Center, becoming a permanent resident of Las Vegas.  It will capture the complete and total attention of buyers as they begin their journey through an exciting new upscale world of quality, visually stimulating architecture, and a fabulous combination of temporary booths and showrooms.

Let's look at the details in this luxury model presentation including the pros and cons:


  • The PLUSH Show is not like an average trade show. It is more like an upscale presentation of quality products with a visual appeal that will simply wow the buyers
  • The PLUSH Show provides a diverse as well as extensive variety of products and services for buyers to learn about and buy. No redundancy in product selection
  • The PLUSH Show has an independent staff member who was formerly with ABC for well over 8 years with extensive training in trade show operation.  He has a distinct advantage of experience to avoid pitfalls that  ABC has been challenged by
  • The PLUSH Show will be featured in the World Market Center in Las Vegas, NV with FREE parking in a covered parking facility.  Easier access, and upscale visual appeal will be common characteristics that the Las Vegas Convention Center could never even match
  • Free food and drink for exhibitors and all attendees at all networking events
  • A much greater opportunity for exhibition of toys, games, and other products is available where other shows are lacking
  • The business model is designed to operate on a high volume, minimum profit per client structure.  Same pricing will remain every year unless show costs go up.  Pricing is then adjusted accordingly but not for greater level of profit
  • Incredible pricing for booth space combined along with an upscale visual appeal that will draw buyers to cover every single inch of the building viewing both showrooms and temporary booths of incredible visual splendor
  • A very personable atmosphere from the very first moment a buyer enters the building with a sense of familiarity and comfort like a visually stunning upscale shopping mall
  • Domestic and International buyers and manufacturers are participating
  • The PLUSH Show staff have a greater understanding of the needs and fulfillment for both the domestic as well as International buyers and manufacturers
  • Recreational activities with major networking opportunity every day after the show in the courtyard of the World Market Center
  • The show management demonstrates their dedication to the needs of the exhibitors. Everyone at the PLUSH Show is important and will the attention they need, (as time allows)
  • The PLUSH Show business model is designed to enable rapid addition to or modification to better serve the needs of the industry
  • The PLUSH Show staff have the desire to use The PLUSH Show to help strengthen the industry and bring the trust and old-school values back to the maternity, infant and toddler shows and associated business
  • The PLUSH Show provides a fresh new alternative where there was none before. Being more recently developed, the PLUSH Show has a distinct advantage of more easily identifying industry needs and developing a solution to full fill them without a "jaded" perspective


  • The PLUSH Show is only a couple years old and is a diamond in the rough, in final steps of perfecting its form
  • The PLUSH Show is not as well known as ABC and other shows
  • The upscale image can cause some companies to question if their product or product line will be good enough to fit in the show.  However, product or product lines that in fact don't fit with the PLUSH Show, always have the option of ABC

Change Can Be Good
"Perhaps there truly is a changing of the guard on the horizon..."

The industry has been crying for change for some time now.  Many retailers, boutique, maternity and specialty stores we spoke with are complaining that "Plenty of money is being spent to exhibit at a trade show yet support from the investment is severely lacking.", as quoted by one brick and mortar store owner we spoke with.  Perhaps there truly is a need for a changing of the guard on the horizon. 

Based upon the results from extensive research by our company, ABC has seen its day and is well recognized yet PLUSH moving upward rapidly in popularity.  PLUSH is being being seen by many companies as what will inevitably become the dominant contender in the juvenile and maternity industry.

I'm sure I will have plenty of loyalists to ABC getting vocal with me and our team and/or sending some "nice" notes we will really appreciate.  Despite that fact, I am a certified expert in pre-emptive analysis.  Unlike some people who are self-proclaimed experts in their work, I have the schooling and years of experience using the skills developed from it, to look for and identify, and create solutions for potential flaws, risk, and logical probabilities. 

Based upon my own research and study in addition to interviews with a wide variety of industry professionals both retail and developers, my vote is with PLUSH. The logic in my statement is simple.  The facts to validate it are public information.

Good leaders know how to identify a good investment before the rest of the herd starts moving. I personally predict the PLUSH Show to be a wise investment to get an added edge on your competitors. PLUSH is a freight train rapidly approaching.  Will your company be one of the cars with that mighty freight train, or one of those who got to the station too late?

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Small image of Rev. James G.W. Fisher for article footer   Rev. Fisher is a seminary graduate ordained minister with a wide variety of specialties from prior graduate study and 40+ years of hands-on experience. He is currently the CEO/Chief Editor for The Toy Man® News & Reviews.

Learn more about Rev. Fisher
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