A Toy Fair Must; “The Creative Factor”

Headerf CreativeFactor

Toy Fair is ultimately all about buying and selling.  It is easy to get so focused on making a deal that the opportunity to get educated about the business of play can easily slip by. That's why I want to encourage everyone to make some time to hear the speakers at the "Creative Factor" during Toy Fair.

Produced by Brett Klisch and featuring talks on Kickstarter, STEAM, PR, gender, sourcing, licensing, funding, safety and creative thinking, "The Creative Factor" provides lots to learn from some outstanding individuals (I am proud to be one of them).

It's all taking place at the entrance to Hall 1C.  I'll see you there.  Now, here's the schedule:


Saturday  February 13

11:00 AM      Beyond Pink and Blue

                       Jens Peter de pedro -founding art director of Toca boca

                        How is it that it is culturally acceptable to divide children's playthings up

                      along gender lines? Meanwhile, it would be unthinkable to have toys aimed 

                      solely at certain cultural or ethnic groups. We design tools for play as if

                      there is no overlap in girls’ and boys’ interests. Jens Peter will talk about

                      why things should, and how thinks could, be different.

1:00 PM         Panel

                       Using STEAM Education in Toy Design

                       Join panelists Dave Sharp of littleBits, Heather Croston Art director of

                       K'nex, Benny Kline of Dream Big Friends, and Debbie Sterling of Goldieblox 

                       in a panel discussion on integrating STEAM education into toy development

                       for girls and eliminating the much dreaded pink aisle by making toys gender 


  3:00 PM        Class

                        Presenting Your Ideas to Manufacturers for Licensing

                        Warren Tuttle – president – United Inventors Association of America

                        Matt Nuccio – president – Design edge

                         Take a practical tour through the process of readying your new product

                         idea for licensing to a manufacturer. We’ll look at patents, prototypes and 

                         general idea creation

Sunday    February 14

9:00 AM      Creative breakfast

                        Please join us for a free breakfast to all attendies and participants.                

                       Coffee, juice, bagels, and other light breakfast stuffs will be provided.

                       Network with your fellow inventors, designers, and creators.

9:30 AM     3D printing with Formlabs 3D

                      Nothing has changed the industry quicker in recent years than the

                     ability to quickly develop product digitally. Formlabs and their range of 

                     affordable 3D printers have been at the for front of bringing 3D printing

                     to the individual and small company that can not afford the 6 figure cost

                     of past 3D printers. Formlabs will give attendies a primer on how they can

                     use 3D printing in their pipelines for design and production.

11:00 AM      Lecture

                      Understanding Gender and Toys in the 21st Century

                      Richard Gottlieb – Global Toy News

                       The role of gender, and in fact the very notion of what defines gender,

                     have undergone dramatic change in the fifteen years since the beginning

                     of the 21st century. Retailers are removing gender signs from toy

                     departments while women have become eligible for all army combat roles.

                     How is the toy industry to navigate its way through this mix of change,

                     challenge and opportunity. In my talk, I will cover this question and provide 

                     insights on the challenges to come and some ways to adapt if not take

                     advantage of a world dramatically different than the one into which we

                     were born.

2:00 PM      Lecture

                      Presenting Your New Idea to Investors

                      Marc Portney – Host of All-American Makers on the Science Channel

                      Marc will walk attendees through the process of preparing to present

                      their new idea or company to investors. We’ll examine the stages of

                      developing an idea to the point of making it investable.

4:00PM      Class

                     Safe sourcing and manufacturing in Asia

                     Charles Berzon – Prosource Global LTD.

                      Navigating the waters of international manufacturing and sourcing can

                     be treacherous for even the most experienced person, doubly so for the

                     newly minted entrepreneur. Join Charles Berzon of ProSource Glogal Ltd.

                     in a talk on where to begin. This will be an open Q&A session on how

                     identify, qualify, and manage overseas manufacturers to help you bring

                     your product to market on time and within budget and quality


Monday   February 15

11:00 AM     Book Presentation

                      Right Brain Red: 7 Keys to Creative Success

                      written by Reyn Guyer and Tim Walsh

                       Imagine learning product design from the originator of NERF and

                      TWISTER, toy brands that have generated over $8 billion in sales.

                      Reyn Guyer is one of the most successful creative professionals of

                      our time. Tim Walsh will talk about  writing of this book and how

                      readers can gain invaluable experience of decades of creating and


1:00 PM      Panel

                     KickStarter Campaigns hosted by kickstarter.com

                     Join Kickstarter as they go through the real world experiences of people

                     who used Kickstarter to launch their products and companies. Learn what

                     it really takes to achieve success on kickstarter. Panelists will share their

                     victories and some of their defeats in their bid to attain funding.

                          Panelist will include

                          Maxwell Bogue – 3D doodler

                          Erik Thorstensson – Strawbees

                          Julie Kerwin – IamElemental

                          Benny klein – Dream Big friends/ Four horsies of the 'pocolypse/ Lil' maddie





Tuesday   February 16


11:00 AM    Class

                    Trademark System Updates

                    Craig Morris -United States Patent and Trademark Office

                     An overview of why selecting the right trademark is so important and

                    how this can be the cornerstone to successful commercialization of any

                    new product and the role of the USPTO in the registration process.


1:00  PM    Class

                    No nonsense PR

                    Samantha Martin – Media Maison

                    Every brand wants to be on the TODAY Show and in the pages of Parenting

                    Magazine. Every brand says "if only Ellen could see how great my toy is…

                    " Yet so many send hundred of emails and more often than not they get no

                    reply. At PR without the BS learn firsthand from a toy industry publicist the

                    how to's and realities of PR placement. What producers and editors want,

                    when is the best time to pitch your particular product , why digital placements

                   are sometimes more effective that the pages of print, how to nurture media   

                   relationships, who really makes the decisions at a show or at a magazine and

                   much more.


2 thoughts

  1. Richard,
    Making non-gender toys is a noble quest but I believe the effort needs to be accompanied by an equal effort to change consumer perspectives.
    All the Best,
    Peter Santaw

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