LEADER: Is youth wasted on the young?

Robert Hutchins

By Robert Hutchins

February 19th 2015 at 12:46PM
UPDATED February 19th 2015 at 12:54PM
LEADER: Is youth wasted on the young?

This week Robert Hutchins takes a philosophical look at the nature of toy inventing and the importance of remaining youthful while doing it.

Edgar Allen Poe once observed that those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only by night.

So, that would explain the bed heads and vacant stares at last year’s Toy and Game Inventors Workshop. You were all busy daydreaming...I mean working.

Alright, I’ll admit; I’ve pinched that opening from a line in a very good book titled The Toy and Game Inventor’s Handbook, by Richard C. Levy and Ronald O. Weingartner, but the comparison remains my own.

The line in question was taken from a chapter penned by the pair, called what makes them special?, offering a detailed look at why inventors should be heralded as the illuminators of the future, feasting on challenge and curiosity. It’s an inspiring read and comes highly recommended by many in the business.

Sadly, Amazon wouldn’t allow me to read much further unless I made the purchase, so to find out how the chapter concludes, you’ll have to allow 15 to 20 working days for Standard UK shipping and delivery.

But it was enough to get me drawing my own parallels between literature and invention, and after a quick Google of Oscar Wilde and Franz Kafka, I feel suitably armed to offer you the following:

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” – Franz Kafka.

If there’s a better sentiment to summarise the nature of toy inventing, feel free to drop me a line. A toy inventor is successful because of their ability to think like a child.

Just ask Mattel’s leading engineer, Mamta Singhal, who has now made it her mission to encourage today’s youth in to the engineering profession. Singhal believes that the future of the industry is now in the hands of the next generation of innovators and is working to dispel its outdated image.

She must be delighted to hear, then that in some cases, successful inventors are in fact children, such as Parker Krex, a ten year old LEGO fan who has just devised a money making business from his love of toys.

The young entrepreneur has turned his passion for plastic in to gold after launching a monthly subscription box initiative filled with construction toys to LEGO fans across the US.

The idea, he says, came when he realised that ‘nothing would be better than receiving a surprise box of LEGO every month.’

In its third month, the business is thriving and the team is already in talks to take the platform global.

A well realised day dream, it would seem.