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Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 10, October 2013, Posted On: 10/1/2013

Top Notch Toys Reboots Corporate Image And Product Strategies

Hank Schlesinger
TAGS: bulk vending, coin-op, Top Notch Toys, TNT logo, Top Notch Toys makeover, Rachel Rosenberg, Philip A. Marzullo, Mike Applebaum, bulk vending supplies, 3D printing technology, vending machine

Top Notch Toys logo, bulk vending SANTA CLARA, CA -- What's new at Top Notch Toys? Just about everything. The bulk and flat vending supplier has just completed a makeover that has reinforced its staff, products, promotions and website. TNT's new logo and motto, Kids Engaged, reflects the company's transition.

As part of its corporate update, TNT has made several personnel changes. Longtime employee Rachel Rosenberg is now a full partner and key accounts manager, and Philip A. Marzullo has joined the company as another partner. While new to the bulk vending industry, Marzullo is said to have a wealth of sales and business experience.

"It's time for the next generation to come into play," said TNT founder Mike Applebaum. "Vending is like any business: you can do it as business as usual, or business as unusual. We're making solid changes -- out with the old and in with the new."

Customers will notice streamlined changes at TNT's revamped website, which went live at tntvend.com in early September. The site not only has an updated look, but it also features a shopping cart module. "We're still shaking out a few of the bugs, but we're very excited about offering the bulk vending community an outlet for e-commerce," Applebaum said. "However, we don't want it to interfere with the level of service our customers have come to expect. To the contrary, we feel it enhances the experience. You can still talk to your TNT customer service representatives."

TNT's online marketplace allows customers to order after business hours, at their convenience. Customers can browse and select products from the supplier's entire catalogue, place their orders, and pay by credit card or PayPal. They can also create a corporate TNT account. The company guarantees orders will ship within 24 hours during business days.

As part of its transformation, TNT is making some product improvements, starting with the 3D display cards used in vending machines. The new POS cards are made using a new 3D printing technology, similar to the lenticular process that has been around for decades, the supplier said. They are also double-sided, offering alternate looks.

According to Applebaum, TNT's boldest change is its plan to design and manufacture proprietary products. "We're creating our own in-house brands," he told VT. "We've already launched a few and have more coming through the developmental stages. We want to show a higher level of value to vending operators and their customers."

Top Notch Toys, bulk vending Among the first products in TNT's house lineup are Chloe & Zoë, which are collectible fashion accessories for girls. In development is Spoofeez, a bulk vending series of pencil erasers that parody iconic brands. There are other TNT originals in the works, Applebaum said.

"It's time to focus on what really matters, and that's engaging kids," the TNT founder said. "If we're not providing product that's engaging, then we're not going to survive. A supplier must remain innovative. It's time to once again take it to the next level."

Separately, Top Notch Toys is planning to relocate from Santa Clara, CA, to a new facility in San Jose. The new location is said to be larger, offering 20,000 square feet of space. The move is expected to happen in December. Call (800) 572-2501 for more information.

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