The original edition of The Toy and Game Inventor's Handbook, included "profiles" of some eighty creatives, who could enter "occupation-professional toy inventor" on any application. These were high achievers in the speculative, high-risk world of licensing ideas to industry marketers. Time has taken some of these incredible talents from the industry like Ralph Baer, acknowledged "father of the video game business", and Fred Kroll, who pushed roller carts filled with new toy and game "opportunities" around the old 200 5th Ave. NYC Toy Center for sixty-six years! (Fortunately for Fred and Hasbro, Hungry, Hungry Hippos dropped off one of those carts!)
There is timeless cautionary advice as well. Seeing the advantage of now popular crowd-funding, Ken Evoy, Canadian licensor of many playthings, counsels,"Never mortgage the house. It is much safer to find venture capital. The worst thing is to spend your money on 10,000 pieces, sell a few thousand, and have the rest end up in your garage." Hank Atkins opines that a single license will not generate sustainable royalty income, saying, "Don't give up your day job." And co-author Richard C. Levy, with over 125 original concepts licensed and approaching 40 years in the business of fun and games advises, "Never give up, never grow up." To meet the challenges of inventing today, it makes sense for creatives to mix into their thinking several dashes of sound advice from the wise--and successful--pros.