Luxury Toys?

We’re not impressed.

Yesterday, Mike and I drove down to the new Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, AZ for the “Men’s Luxury Toy Expo and Sale.”

Mike and I are big into toys. It isn’t because we like to be conspicuous consumers. We have so few close friends in the area that there’s no one to show off to. It’s just that we like to play with toys. So it’s always nice to see what’s out there to play with.

If your idea of a “luxury toy” includes hot tubs, sand rails (modern day dune buggies), and garage storage solutions, then this show was for you. Unfortunately, those things don’t fall into what we’d consider luxury toys. We were pretty disappointed, since that’s what dominated the show.

To be fair, there were two or three Ferraris (the definitive sports car, in my opinion) and some very nice, mint condition classic cars. And I did like the idea of buying a room on a residential cruise ship to live out the rest of my life on a nonstop, around-the-world cruise. (Now that’s a house boat! I just find the $1.8 million entry fee plus $90K annual maintenance a bit tough to swallow right now.) But there were also vendors selling beef jerky, overpriced plastic shoes, and miracle mops. (In my opinion, if you have enough cash to afford a real luxury toy, you also have enough to pay a professional to keep it clean for you.)

The weirdest thing was seeing an advertisement for one of the garage storage solution places with the same exact layout and colors as my Flying M Air brochure. If that wasn’t a rip off of David’s design work, I don’t know what is. They could have at least changed the color scheme. The ad was in the show brochure and I won’t dignify it (or spread the word about the company) by reproducing it here. I’m just glad they weren’t pushing helicopter tours and charters. I’m trying to use the design for my new branding and it’s not nice to see someone else trying to do the same thing with the same design.

I’d brought along a bunch of Flying M Air brochures and old Sedona/Grand Canyon rack cards with the idea of leaving a few around on tables with other mixed literature. There weren’t any such tables, so I wound up carrying around the brochures for the whole show. That wasn’t so bad because we were only there for about an hour.

I thought the event might be a good place to advertise the business. Imagine bringing Zero-Mike-Lima onto the show floor, all sparkling and clean. That would certainly get some attention! But when I saw the kinds of people walking the floor, I realized that the dreamers outnumbered the buyers by a good margin. (The beef jerky guy was doing a good business but I didn’t see the residential cruise ship guy handing out too many cards.)

I don’t regret going, though. We got to see the inside of Cardinals stadium, which isn’t 100% finished yet. (Looks like they still have some painting to do in the bowels of the arena.) It’s a nice place — very state-of-the-art and the air conditioning works pretty darn good. The show was on the stadium’s concrete floor. The grass, which was growing nicely outside, looked ready to roll in for a game any time. The only thing I regret was not taking a few pictures. It isn’t often that you get to walk on the field (sans grass) for the newest football stadium in the country.

Would I go again? Doubtful. I’ll call later today to see what the exhibitor pricing is like. If it’s affordable, I might give it a try. Depends on how the beginning of my season goes. The show is in February; my big season here in Arizona starts in November. So I have plenty of time to think about it.

What do you think?