Here we are at the end of another year (at least according to the Gregorian Calendar). 2002 doesn't have the same marquee value that 2000 (with the Y2K bug) or 2001 (with the eponymous film and book), and maybe that fits well with the introspection that has characterized the later half of 2001. And since this seems to be the year to quote JRR Tolkien, the title is apt as well!
The year that was
2001 saw many changes in not only the world of toys, but the larger world that we all share. Not every year has an event that is etched in the memory like this year, and it seems that these events come once every generation or so. With the advance of technology and communications from the early 20th Century on, the world has become a smaller place, and events reach everywhere almost instantly. In the United States the last 60 years has had several such events - the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the assassination of President John Kennedy in 1963, men walking on the moon in 1969, the Challenger accident in 1986, and finally, this September. Over time the events will grow dim in our memories, but we will never forget.
One big change is here at RTM. While the site is under new management, it isn't new. We're continuing the legacy left by those who have gone before, and trying our best to measure up. The last three months have gone very well for us personally and the site. The readership is building every day, and for that we are thankful. The response from the users has been unanimously positive, and we appreciate all the comments and we welcome any suggestions for the future.
Many people have seen the year as part of the downfall of the 'dot-coms', and it would be hard to argue. But RTM isn't a dot-com by any means (just check the name - Raving Toy Maniac and not something-dot-com) to see that this site is about the community and not making a buck. Some sites are clearly 'dot-commerce' sites, but if there is any dot to go with RTM, it's 'dot-community'!
This year has also seen many, many new toys enter the market. From LEGO's BIONICLE line to the latest Lord of the Rings toys, there have been some very impressive and fun toys. We've had the privilege of working with the best toy companies in the world, and some of the best people at them. Any list would be woefully incomplete, but we do thank all the people at all the toy companies for all the help and information! RTM is far more than just news, and the help we’ve received has allowed us to effortlessly create the best toy content on the web today.
We also wish to thank the faithful readers of the site for sticking around and staying with us since we've taken over. The months and months of inactivity on the site would have caused lesser sites (probably any other site) to fold, but not so with RTM. Now the site thrives again with the pulse of collectors, and you readers are the heart and blood that keeps the site going. You are why we do this, and we thank you for being here!
The Year Ahead
The biggest event in the near future for the site will be the International Toy Fair in New York City. The event will be held from Feb 10-14 and we will be there to get the latest information and pictures for the coming year. RTM didn't go last year, leaving a very large hole in coverage that won't be empty again. We’ll be seeing every toy company we can, so keep your browsers pointed here for daily coverage.
After that the next big events will be Wizard World and the venerable San Diego Comicon. We'll be covering both events to ensure you all get the best look at what's coming later in the year, but misses the February deadline.
While covering toy shows is important, we also have some other things planned for the coming year. We will have more interviews and features, as well as spotlights and plenty of news. We'll also have a few surprises planned that we'll keep secret and tease you with right now.
We plan on expanding the archives more, to include some older lines from the past. We've been lucky to get the talents of Jason Geyer on Iron Man and Kevin Lentz on pretty much any toy made in the 3-3/4 inch scale.
We are also putting out a call to those out their who have ideas for articles or who would like to contribute to RTM. We can't guarantee we'll be able to use your stuff, but if it's well written and covers toys we are the best place to get the word out.
Our New Year's Resolutions aren't really anything new - we resolve to give you the best news and articles possible, and bring it all to your computer! We resolve tp have the best Toy Fair coverage anywhere, and we're doing everything we can to make sure it comes about.
It's a brand new year, and one where we think the site will really shine! RTM is back, and we cordially invite you along to enjoy the ride!
-Rob and Bobbi