HomeFAQ
 

Who we are?
How does this work?
How much does it cost?
How many companies will you show my product to and how soon can I expect a sale?
Should I get my concept Patented, Trademarked or otherwise legally protected?
What kind of concepts will/won’t you accept?
So, what do we want and what will we accept?
How do I submit my designs?

Who we are?

We are ToyRecruiter.com and our expertise is recruiting top-level executives for the toy industry.  In the industry since 1991 and with the best reputation in the toy industry, we have the unique advantage of working closely with the best toy companies in the world today.  In the course of our work we are often asked to bring new concepts to our clients for their review. We are expert in the matters of toy invention. Mr. David Fitzgibbons was interviewed by Inventors Digest. Read the interview here.

How does this work?

 

You request from us a signed NDA.  Make sure to include your name in the email.  We will sign, scan and email you back the NDA for your records.  At that point you can upload your concept for our review.  If the concept is deemed appropriate we will list it on our private and password protected site.  When a toy company inquires about a concept, say for example a mechanically unique fashion doll, we will allow them to view your unique doll concept with their password after they have signed our NDA. 

If they like the concept, we will send them any material they might request, including your working prototype, marketing material, etc for their review.  

How much does it cost?

 

There is no cost.  There are no “listing fees”, no “evaluation fees”…no fees of any kind.  If we do agree to list your concept on TheGreatToySearch.com then we will enter into a broker’s agreement to represent the sale/licensing of your product.  We receive a percentage of the sale/licensing of your concept.  That is how we receive compensation. 

If there is one important piece of advice I can offer it would be to stay away from those companies that offer marketing, product evaluation and improvement and patent advice for excessive fees.  Most are fraudulent and rarely, if ever, will you make back the money you pay them even if you have the luck of placing a product in the market.

How many companies will you show my product to and how soon can I expect a sale?

 

We work considerably different from other inventor representatives.  Inventor representatives take your product (and 100’s others like it) in their car and drive all over America visiting any toy company that will see them.  They arrive like Santa on Christmas morning and they spend their few minutes inside pulling 100’s of concepts out of their bag to wow the company.  It’s akin to throwing a big bowl of spaghetti on the wall.  It is possible that of those 400 strands of spaghetti on the wall…one might stick and voila…a sale might be made.  But do you really want to hope to be the sticky piece of spaghetti?

That is why we work differently; we don’t go to the companies and hope for a sale.  We wait for the companies to come to us as interested parties first.  A company may ask us for unique remote control concepts at which point we will send them to your unique R/C concept listed on our site.  To be clear, we don’t “shop” your concept all over town.  That waters the concept down and leads to one of the many objections heard at those Santa on Christmas morning meetings…“Nope, not interested…we’ve seen it before a hundred times”. 

With regards to how soon can you expect a sale – don’t.  Don’t expect a sale because in the business of toy concepts it really is one in one thousand concepts that are company acquired and become a success at retail.  For the toy inventor the process is long and hard and patience is the king of virtues for this profession.  If anyone tells you differently they are lying to you.

Should I get my concept Patented, Trademarked or otherwise legally protected?

 

Says Bruce Lund, inventor of Milton Bradley’s Fireball Island, “I am of a mixed mind on patents… [patents] are costly and time-consuming to obtain.  They are clearly of value in the case of items such as Furby and SuperSoaker.  However, most toys have a lifespan of six months, and a patent is of little commercial value”1. I can tell you that the lion’s share of the items listed on our site and that I have sold were not patented nor trademarked by the inventor.  Like the sales process, the patent process is long and hard…and expensive.  The patent search and submission process can easily cost $10,000 or more and the average time it takes the USPTO to grant a patent is currently 2.9 years, so this is a decision not made lightly.

If you require an Intellectual Property (patent, trademark, copyright, etc) attorney and do not have one, we can refer you to a Registered Patent Attorney.  **Please note that TheGreatToySearch.com does not receive fees or other consideration for such referrals. 

What kind of concepts will/won’t you accept?

 

We won’t accept action figure concepts!  Yes I am speaking directly to you (man under 35 years old) – no matter how cool the concept is no toy company will ever buy it.  For an action figure concept to succeed it has to have a license (Spiderman®, Power Rangers®, Batman®, etc) and since it does, it has to pay a fee to the licensor.  If a toy company has to pay you a royalty (for creating the concept) and the licensor their fee, they would no longer be profitable.  So although you have the greatest action figure concept for Batman® ever created – OR YOUR OWN NEW LINE OF ACTION FIGURES – don’t bother.  It won’t sell!

An important message about friends, family, stray children and your toy concept. 

 

Your friends and family will always tell you that they love your concept.  Why?  Because they are your friends and family and they are there to support you and champion your efforts.  Please don’t tell me this product is great because your wife loves it…I already know she loves it otherwise you wouldn’t be going forward with it.  And please, please, please don’t tell me that you gave this product to a preschool teacher and every child loved it, played with for hours (at the expense of other toys) and then asked where s/he could buy it.  If I had a brick for every time I heard this I could build a four car garage behind my house.  Kids always love the new thing when it comes to play time.  Don’t you think if I made a really cool looking action figure every boy in the room would play with it?  Or if I sculpted a beautiful princess fashion doll with a beautiful gown and great accessories that every girl would love it too?  They would.  But those two concepts wouldn’t steal shelf space from Batman® or Barbie® now would they?  They wouldn’t. 

So, what do we want and what will we accept?

 

A concept with a new and unique feature never before seen in the marketplace
Example:  Spin Master’s Air Hogs Zero Gravity Remote Control Car®.  It is a R/C car that can drive up a wall and defy gravity.  Don’t you wish you thought of that?  Also consider Mattel's Stealth Riders.  A flat, pocket sized, Remote Control car that with the push of a button expands into a fully functional 3D RC car.  Amazing. 

Unique or Proprietary technology (i.e. computer code or electronics)
Example:  20Q® by Radica.  The inventor had a neural net learn the answers from 1 million rounds of twenty questions and compressed it onto an 8-bit chip that has a success rate (it guesses what you were thinking) over 80% of the time.  All that and it sells for less than $10.00. 

Unique mechanical features
Example:  Fisher-Price’s Tickle Me Elmo®.  Could you make a mechanism that allowed a plush item to fall down laughing, get back up and do it all with economy of material and so that it could occur 1,000’s of times over without failure? 

A new twist on an old favorite
Example:  The Hobberman Sphere, the Phlat Ball (the ball that folds flat), inline Skates and the Razor® Scooter.  Skates, scooters and balls have always been around but these new twists on old favorites made for huge demand, huge profits and created entirely new market segments.

Pet Toys

Pet toys?  Are you kidding me?  Not at all, we are always on the lookout for any unique and special pet products; especially pet toys!  As food for thought, no pun intended, consider the Kong® series of dog toys.  In 1999 the inventors submitted a patent so tight that just placing "food' in a dog toy is a difficult proposition.  So, what did another inventor do?  He invented a product where he impregnated the rubber to smell and taste like food.  This is the kind of thinking we are looking for!

How do I submit my designs?

 

Before you do anything, for your protection, you need to request from us a signed NDA.  Make sure to include your name in the email.  We will sign, scan and email you back the NDA for your records.  After you receive our signed NDA, only then should you go to the “Submit” page and upload the images of your concept(s) and any other (marketing) material you deem appropriate. 

Footnotes:

  1. Levy, Weingartner The Toy and Game Inventor’s Handbook: Alpha Books, 2003 page 166