The Tom Cruise of the Toy Industry? The Inventor Buzz

That’s me there. No, not the short one in red whistling at the pretty girl, but the larger fellow in the background with the leather sportscoat on. Dapper indeed. This was taken at the 2011 Chicago Toy and Game Fair where I was signing "Top Trumps" game cards featuring MOI and a veritable plethora of other toy and game inventors. 

Bruce lund chitag 2011
Now, In the world of music singers, performers, and songwriters are known and celebrated. In the world of film and the arts actors, directors, and artists are famous and their works known and looked forward to by their fans. In the world of letters, authors are known and their latest books eagerly awaited by their readers. So, similarly, in the world of toys and games, inventors and creators are similarly known, loved, even revered. NOT! Why is that? Why not? No idea. Does it matter? Not sure.


From a marketing point of view, associating the inventor with the toy gives toy companies another way to sell a toy or game to the masses, just the way the name Tom Cruise or Steven King or Ludacris attracts attention and sales to a movie or a book or a music company. It is not just the song or the movie or the book that sells the product, but it is also the creator or performer that creates buzz and ultimately sales. 

How would you know what book to read if you didn’t know who wrote it? How would you know what song to buy if you didn’t know the performer, or what movie to go see if you didn’t know the director or the names of the stars? 

How would you pick? Blindly, I suppose. You might miss some very good books or songs or movies that you would really love if only you had known who created it, or who performed it into existence.

Perhaps it would help the consumer in choosing toys and games if they knew the inventors behind them. I like to think that we are behind toys and games that have great play value because we are dedicated to creating great products that inspire, entertain, and delight. Great products. Great toys. Great games. Nothing less is acceptable. If the public knew that Lund and Company was behind a product, they might be confident that their money is well spent because we are known to create toys and games of great value. They would not be disappointed in buying one of our creations. 

So, maybe it really is a good idea, and Mary Couzin is right. Maybe the public should be made aware from whence the toys and games they buy have sprung so that they might make better informed choices and be more satisfied with the products they bring home.

2 thoughts

  1. The hobby game industry is much better at celebrating its stars: Take a look at how many games have Reiner Knizia’s name on the box, or the packaging from such companies as Rio Grande or Z-Man Games.

  2. I know what you mean. I have a friend, Renee Jablow, who is one of the top paper engineers of pop-up books. People outside the industry generally only know the authors name, but not the person who makes it so magical, and it’s a shame.

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