A Born-Again Toy Virgin

MichaelMichael Rinzler is the President and
Founder of Wicked Cool Toys.  He has spent the last 20 years working for
some of the world's best toy companies and has recently achieved his lifelong
dream of starting his own toy company. He can be reached at rinz@wickedcooltoys.com.

Toy Fair marked 20 years since I started in the toy business, yet it felt
somewhat like I was starting over.  Six
months ago I finally achieved a lifelong dream by starting my own toy company,
Wicked Cool Toys.  After a long corporate
career at big companies such as Mattel, MGA, Playmates and JAKKS Pacific, I
thought I had seen it all.  Boy, was I

was the first time I had ever displayed at Javits.  Wow…what a different world. On the first
day, I wrote the first order of my entire career.  It was for $120 and I could not have been

always say and hear things like “The industry is so much harder than it used to
be” and “It’s almost impossible to get placement now.”  While there is some degree of truth to that,
I believe there is one element that will never change:  Product is, and always will be, king!  If you have something good to sell, you will find
a home for it.

else that has not changed:  I continue to
be awed by the support of our industry. 
Licensors, retailers, inventors, designers, etc. have all been amazing
in helping me to launch my company. 
Everybody is searching for innovation and wants new, upstart companies
to succeed.  The close-knit, incestuous
nature of the toy business is what makes it such an amazing home for our
professional endeavors. 

was an important company milestone to make it through the very long and
confusing sales season.  (As an aside,
can somebody tell me why we still have so many shows?)  It has been an incredible journey thus far to
sign licenses, develop products and sell them to the trade.  Now the hard part begins – preparing our
products for production, shipping on time and proving to our partners that we
can execute properly.

going to continue to blog about entrepreneurship and the trials and
tribulations of starting a company in this difficult, fun and wacky

next time…








3 thoughts

  1. Congratulations on your first (and probably not last) business adventure, Michael! Taking that first step is the most difficult, but it all gets easier! You are 100% right … if you have a good product, people will find room for it! Cheers!

  2. I just watched your Scanimalz video and I totally fell IN LOVE with this product! Kudos to you! If I were a kid or had children now, that would for sure be in my to buy list!

  3. You have a huge advantage over many first timers at Toy Fair being an industry vet. My heart always goes out to the wide eyed newbies that have no idea what they have gotten into. Good luck!

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