Designer Con, a modest-sized convention, was still bustling with life and activity as all were celebrating the world of urban, underground and pop art. I managed to get a piece of that celebration by interviewing October Toys.
The company is owned and founded by George and Ayleen Gaspar. I was only able to interview George, as Ayleen was helping coordinating Designer Con itself. The company was founded in 2004, and since then has been growing and growing. Of course, the company had its own modest beginnings. The Gaspars, when starting out, worked full-time in the toy industry while building up their own little slice of the market, having an impressive combined two decades of experience. Its current scale is a company that has influence outside California, as reflected in their OMFG! (Outlandish Mini Figure Guys) which was a collaboration of efforts from forum members on the October Toys forum that originate from faraway places like Hong Kong, Germany…even New York. Their products are also environmentally friendly, as their website states that “[w]e start by re-using shipping and packaging materials as often as we can. When we aren’t re-using packaging, we use biodegradable loose fill which is made from natural vegetable starch… [m]aterials and supplies are ordered locally whenever possible in order to help reduce our carbon footprint and we are constantly working to reduce the amount of packaging our products come in. Finally, we donate a percentage of every sale to Global Green to help work toward a sustainable and secure future…filled with toys.”
While George maintains that running October Toys is a 24-hour job, the Gaspar’s passion for toys has made it a labor of love. They divide the work in that George mainly handles the sculpting whereas Ayleen handles the business. For those of you out there as ambitious as the Gaspars, George suggests that you “go to school and learn” and “go intern for someone” before you make the plunge into opening your own toy company. If we are to learn anything from October Toys, is that it takes years and years of hard work. If you are not committed 110% to your craft, then do not attempt, unless you are willing to bear the cost. “You don’t just start out owning a company,” George explains. Fit the growth of your company into your daily life, and it will be built.
The future looks bright for October Toys. The ability for them to grow through social media, such as their podcast Toy Break and their forum, as well as wholesale through DKU Toys, we here at Azure Lorica are interested to see just how far their love of toys will take them. We’ll be rooting for you!