Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Working the Reps

This manufacturer rep ad from the June, 1952 issue of Toys and Novelties cracks me up: I just love how “plastics banks” and “plastic horses” have been added to the bottom of the list of “Timely Items,” almost as an afterthought:

This was 1952, though, not long after Breyer had decided to enter the toy market in the first place. The Krenziens had been representing Breyer since the very beginning – a mere year or so earlier – but they were not yet seen as a “name” brand, like Slinky.

From the research I've done so far, however, it appears that the Krenziens were definitely working on that problem. Breyer was prominently featured in Krenzien ads a few years later, and Breyer returned the favor in 1955. It was grouped with similar ads from other Krenzien clients, so it may have served as a branding exercise on the reps' part:

Did the Krenziens provide services above and beyond aggressive representation? Whether it went as far as product development – as seems to be the case with Breyer's West Coat representatives, the Ungers - I can't say for sure. I haven't seen anything to suggest that … yet. The fact that the Krenziens' home office was in Chicago does make me wonder about the closeness of the business relationship.

I'm not sure when the Krenziens stopped representing Breyer; I know it was quite some time ago, but I haven't gotten far enough along in my research to even put a rough guess on the date. Breyer didn't start listing their reps in their Dealer Catalogs until the 1970s, and they seem to have been long gone by then.

Yes, the firm itself still around, though it has since changed its name to Krenzien, Krenzien and Associates, and now focuses more on sporting goods. I suppose one of these days I should call them up and see if they can provide anything useful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Velocipedes & phonographs, awesome.

I also wonder what '"Rudolph" inflatables' are.