The toy industry suffered a major setback during the
recession. Thankfully, it survived but the products coming
out of the toy industry of late are quite boring. One
wonders where has all the innovation gone? If you have an
original idea to sell to the toy industry you will need to
go about it the right way or else suffer rejection and
Toy companies receive thousands of ideas from inventors
every year, and accept only a fraction of them. So how can
you increase your chances of success? If you are planning to
enter the toy industry you may benefit from these tips:
The first thing to remember while embarking into the toy
industry is to do a great deal of research but don’t be
foolhardy to presume that you can reinvent the wheel. Also,
don’t try to improve on existing popular toys. Don’t think
you’ll re-do Slip-N-Slide, for instance, and make it even
better. A lot of inventors make this mistake, or submit a
so-called new idea that’s already on the market. Do your
research, and leave product updates to a company’s internal
Research and Development staff.
Your research should help you decide which companies to
target. As a rule of the thumb you should target toy
companies that produce products most similar to your idea.
You may find more success with small and mid-sized toy
companies. It’s a good idea to take the assistance of an
agent who can be helpful in opening doors.
Next, you have to develop a prototype to show proof of your
concept. The inventor has to bring more to the table than
just an idea. He has to convince the company that it works.
While making a presentation of the prototype, always aim for
simplicity. If you take twenty minutes to explain how
something works, there’s very little chance of success.
Understand the review process. In disclosing an idea, things
often come down to who had the idea first. Often the company
already has the idea before you submit it. Companies like
Wham-O document every interaction with an inventor. You can
steal an idea once, but then no one’s going to work with you
again. So they depend on their integrity and honesty. The
company creates a few co-inventor relationships each year,
in which two ideas are combined to create one product and
the co-inventors share royalties. Professional inventors
document every interaction they have with toy companies.
Finally, you must figure out your production costs.
Surprisingly, many fledgling inventors do not. You should
aim at the lowest possible cost per unit. Cost control will
also help you achieve your overall point: selling someone on
your idea. There are a lot of magic price points in the toy
industry and $20 is a big, magic price point.