Independent Inventors are the Industry’s Most Underutilized Resource

Mattel has had huge success with Monster High, Cepia with Zhu Zhu Pets, and Lego with their new girls lines.

Innovation sells and significant innovation can create huge successes.

We at Lund and Company Invention have worked side-by-side with toy and game manufacturers for more than 30 years – and I’d say for the most part the results are successful, and at times even brilliant.

But sometimes the picture is not quite so rosy! As I analyze those times, I believe the key ingredient that is missing is direct and honest communication and the openness to close collaboration.


Image courtesy of Jurgen Appelo

We have had products fail miserably on more than one occasion because our client companies would not accept our repeated offers of assistance, and target ship dates were missed and orders cancelled as a result.

We have had products come to market that were less than they could have been; less appealing, less fun to play with, and worse – when our offers of assistance and collaboration were ignored, even spurned.

Our team has experience and expertise that goes unused, even unwanted, but when utilized can speed product development and improve the likelihood of success, even lead to significant new innovation.

I’d like to see more more openness from toy companies toward a collaborative process with independent inventors, and not just for back-filling small existing line opportunities, but for creating significant, big, innovative new lines and categories that the entire industry can benefit from.


The inventor community is a largely underutilized resource that used more effectively may help the toy industry dig out of the malaise of current market conditions! Great products – TMX Elmo is an example – benefit the entire industry, just as a rising tide lifts all boats.

Collaboratively, we can create those great new technologies, brands, or just great items from which all will benefit.

Leave a Reply