How to Invent a Licensable Toy or Game

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There are numerous strategies by which one may invent a licensable toy or game. 

Checklist-443126_640One common strategy is to work from a brief a toy company provides that tells you what they need to fill the gaps in their existing lines. 

For larger brands the need is to replace hundreds of millions of dollars of new product each and every year. The equivalent of a medium-sized toy company needs to be created from scratch each year just to maintain a large brand at these larger companies. 

This is a highly viable business strategy that we rarely employ, but have had a string of successes with years ago when we created animated Tigger and Pooh characters, and our Toy of The Year, TMX Elmo. 

Another approach to inventing a licensable toy or game is to find something interesting, new, eye catching, or even something that's been around for a long, long time. 

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The new animated birds that have recently hit the marketplace are a derivative "toyetification" of the realistic animated birds that have been available from Takara Tomy and sold in museum shops for decades

Add interactive play value and bright "toy" colors, and you have a brand new line. 

The mega-popular Zhu Zhu Pets line, similarly, was taken from the enduring hamster in a ball prodcut sold for years in airport toy shops or the likes of KB Toys. This classic item was expanded to a line, with added features and play value, and voila! a billion dollar toy line. 

We scour the world for such sources of inspiration. They are right before our eyes and nine times out of ten we don't see them. Magazines, books, and catalogs have all been the sources of inspiration for sucessful products in our history like Fireball IslandVacMan, and Little Miss Muffin

Thirdly, but by no means last on the list of viable invention strategies, is one of my favorites: tinkering. 

By 'tinkering' I mean making things, trying things, posing questions and seeking to attempt, for example, to make a motorized cartwheel mechanism, which by the way, resulted in our very successful Tumble Time Tigger. 

We are tinkerers, and like scientists in a laboratory, we explore technologies, often for years at a time, to discover applications that are entirely new and different. 

The natural world all around us, of course, invents to needs and solutions of all manner of 'problems'. What other strategies do you practice, or know of, or see in evidence in the world around us? 

Best of luck to you if you seek to invent.

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