Top 10 Tips for Toy Inventors

Ron WeingartnerRonald O. Weingartner has spent more than 40 years heading development departments and managing processes to transform ideas into new products, 27 of which were spent at Milton Bradley and Hasbro. During that time, he headed MB’s Education Division, product managed game lines — including Yahtzee — and served as Director of Research and Development at Playskool. He rose to Vice President of Inventor Relations for Hasbro Games, where he met with hundreds of inventors.
  1. Learn about as many companies marketing toys and games and their current product lines as you can.
  2. Find the companies that are “inventor friendly” and identify the person who views new ideas at each company.
  3. Consider using a recognized, industry agent for representation of your ideas until you are established as a known source of new concepts.
  4. Know the current best selling toys and games as well as the past hits and discover what core ideas drive those successes.
  5. Judge whether your idea appeals to mass-market consumers or skews toward shoppers at specialty retailers.
  6. Determine if potential pricing, packaging, and presence of your new idea compares favorably to any product on the market that may be similar to your idea.
  7. If you don’t have the skill sets to present totally defined ideas to potential marketers, try to find a partner/associate who can complement your creativity and create a looks-like, works-like prototype.
  8. Learn to accept rejection and try to improve ideas to overcome objections at subsequent presentations.
  9. Do not self-produce your idea unless you have access to other peoples’ funds and a well-developed realistic business plan.
  10. Develop perseverance and never give up!
Toy Inventor's HandbookWeingartner is also co-author of the critically acclaimed The Toy and Game Inventor’s Guidebook (2013), in which he and co-author Richard Levy guide toy inventors step-by-step through the opportunities and challenges of toy and game licensing, and convey industry realities through interviews with leading inventors and corporate executives.