Put up your right hand and repeat after me: “I will make no bad toys. I will endeavor to create products with great value to the consumer and user. I will devote my efforts to developing toys and children's products that excite, delight, and entertain. So help me Santa!”
Our goal, and my personal mission, is to create great products that inspire and entertain. We strive for products that deliver great value to the consumer for the hard-earned money spent.
When I hear people complain about toys and the toy industry I wince. There are many great toys on the market now and many great new toys introduced each year. No other industry delivers so much innovation so quickly and at such value for the money spent as the toy industry.
But we as an industry are sometimes guilty of foisting crap on the marketplace, as well. We all suffer when bad toys are TV promoted and flooding the toy store shelves. I am not talking about cheaply made Hong Kong junk toys, but rather toys made and promoted by US-born-and-bred toy companies.
An excerpt: “There are lots of little pieces you have to wash, and it can only make 2 (thing-a-ma-jigs) at a time. The (whateveryoucallits) looked and tasted DISGUSTING and we just threw them out. This is a huge waste of money.”
And another: “Oh, my . . . this was the most disgusting toy we have ever experienced. The mix SMELLS horrible, it reminded us of urine, no joke. It was so bad, we could not possibly let our children consume the finished product. Not to mention, the whole process . . . is difficult for adults, forget about the kids being able to master it . . . we paid over $20 for the 'privilege' of making 6 smelly (whose-a-ma-whatzits). What a rip off, I would not recommend this product to anyone, please pass this one up! What a disappointment.”
I still recall getting my very special Ideal rocket launcher for Christmas one year, and after playing with it a few times my heart sunk. This toy I had wanted for so long was such a disappointment. This was my big Christmas gift! It launched a spring-loaded rocket. That was it. I had been duped.
You, me, all of us suffer when such products fill the store shelves, are promoted on TV, and ruin a child’s special day. It makes people think all toys are junk. And we know that is not true. Our industry creates great products, and too few people know that.
The toy industry can do better than this. We should take a pledge to do better than this. Every toy company, every ad agency, every inventor and toy designer should make a pledge, just like physicians' Hippocratic oath “to do no harm.”