From the Floor of CES

Yesterday I was walking through the exhibitors’ booths in the Sands hotel in Las Vegas, carrying a colorful box with large, plastic toys inside. The toys—a giveaway by Cartoon Network to promote a new show—had been distributed at a panel I attended in the morning on “new frontiers of play.” The charmingly bizarre design aesthetic prompted me to take one, unsure of what I would do with it later, so I had to lug it around for a few hours.

Somewhere near the life-size toy Halo guns and the “Air Guitar Hero” booth, a woman gasped with delight upon seeing the box under my arm. “Where did you get this?” she asked. She seemed East Asian, somewhere between her late 20s and mid 30s.

I explained which room the toys were at, and said there were probably many left, based on how fast they were being taken. “Are you a collector?” I asked.

“No,” she said, still smiling, “I have a three-year-old who would love this, though.”

Though they are both comparably large conventions that look pretty similar from the show floor, the Consumer Electronics Show is very different from Comic Con International. This was my favorite example illustrating this point, but it’s certainly not the most extreme example. I’ll be writing about this (and some other recent research excursions) once I get back home to Philadelphia this week. In the meantime, go check out the still ongoing conversation about geek music which I blogged about the other day. I just realized there’s a whole second page (and maybe more) of posts which I completely missed, so I need to return to that soon, too.

3 thoughts on “From the Floor of CES

  1. The couple of trade shows I’ve been to recently were all about getting toys for my son. Several different software vendors provided me with the following: an honest to goodness rubber ducky, a gecko (with a linux logo on it), several stress balls, and other stuff that are perfect for children. (Although it does make me wonder about who exactly the companies are trying to reach with this SWAG.)

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