New Toys-New World: How To Invent Toys And Transform The World by Eric Frydler
Spiral-bound - 80 pages (September 1992)
Nuts 'N Bolts
1. Inventing Toys
There is no substitution for a hands-on demonstration of how something works. Frequent toy stores. Buy a couple of toys. Go outside and play. Then go inside and play. Find out what toys look like inside and out. Be curious. Observe. Play detective. Here are some clues to look for when studying the products:
- If the toy is plastic and hollow, it may have been formed by the technique called blow molding. This manufacturing process uses a heated tube through which passes air or gas, which expands against a mold to form a hollow object. Familiarize yourself with the technique by learning to recognize toys which were formed by it.
- The toy and the packaging around it will likely have one or two dominant colors.
- There will be a mechanism, or specific technology, incorporated into the toy.
- There will be identifying words printed on the package, such as: the product name, theme line, call-outs, bursts, and logo.
- There is generally a unifying design which connects a line of products.
As you learn to recognize some of these product distinctions, as well as to incorporate them into your own new product presentations, you will begin to acquire the professionalism and savvy respected by the toy industry. It is vitally important for you to learn the standrad vocabulary for communicating with the industry.
Get in touch with the market. What do you think kids are looking for? What are the parents willing to buy? What are they likely to reject? Do you see an emotional hook or tie-in to the text, graphics, and product? What's neat about the package? Is there something to collect? A new toy grabs, grips and shocks you. It's got to make you want to rip open the package, and play with it right in the store! Does your new toy product concept do that?
Be open to collaboration. There is a good deal of talent already established in the inventing community. Industrial designers and engineers will sometimes team up with a good inventor whose ideas they feel have market and technological potential. There are resource workbooks listing illustrators and technical illustrators. There are toy design groups which will review new product concepts.
If your new toy product concept is rejected at first, don't automatically give up. It may take a new concept several incarnations before it becomes commercially viable. Often inventors generate a hundred new concepts for every one sold.
If your idea is not new, it may not be considered, and your reputation as a real innovator will be questioned. Put your best brain forward with a toy company. Otherwise, nothing in this book will help you. If you feel that your one idea is your only good idea, this book won't help you very much. However, this book will help you to learn to generate more ideas, and to develop an understanding of the criteria used to determine a new concept's market potential. If you do have a good idea this book will help you. It can help make the difference between hundreds of man-hours wasted, or well-spent; between thousands of dollars invested, or saved; and between a definite rejection, and a potential sale.