Monday, February 18, 2013

The Creative Factor at Toy Fair

On Monday. February 11, Richard C. Levy and I shouted out SNL's famous line, "Live from New York City!" For the past seven years, we have hosted a TIA Creative Factor symposium for toy and game inventors. This year, we were MML (Monday Morning Live). The nor'easter notwithstanding, our room filled with intrepid men and women who traversed slushy Manhattan streets and driving rain to get to the Javits Center for the 110th Annual Toy Fair. Our attendees proved their resilience living by the old adage, ""often the hardest part of any challenge is showing up!"

This year, we did something different. Rather than a speech format followed by an audience Q and A, we started with answers to ten questions we felt inventors often find of most interest. (See our answers as recorded by attendee, David A. Miller, Executive Editor of Purple Pawn) Answers

  1) Is New York Toy Fair the best place to sell ideas?
  2) Do you need an agent to license an idea?
  3) How do you know if an idea is original and never done before?
  4) What are some reasons why companies reject ideas?
  5) Does collaborative invention improve chances of licensing an idea?
  6) What are the major points to prepare to pitch a prototype to a marketer?
  7) What can you expect if a company asks to hold your prototype?
  8) Should you produce and market the concept yourself?
  9) Should you hire an attorney for patent and trademark applications?
10) How are mobile gaming and interactive toys affecting the market?

These questions and dozens more from the audience made for a fast-moving sixty minute session. Afterwards, we continued to entertain questions in the hallway as inventors' natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge would not surrender to the clock.

Between what we imparted firsthand and the information in our just released 2nd edition of The Toy and Game Inventor's Handbook, there is a possibility that some in the audience will not attend our 2014 session. They will be too busy admiring the products they licensed to one of the more than 1000 plus Javits exhibitors.

The TIA frequently says that the Toy Fair showcases 6000 to 7000 "never seen before products". It's a good bet some of those new toys and games will come from inventor graduates of past TIA Creative Factor programs, We certainly hope so!


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