Inspired by some of the past week's greatest toy inventions, Robert Hutchins takes a look at how success is all in the execution.
This week I invented PenPalz, a collection of big-eyed, fluffy animals that can relay messages across the globe.
It all started when I answered the phone to the question: “If I email Germany, will it automatically translate my message in to German when they open it?”
My usual response to such flagrant technological ignorance would be only to roll my eyes and sigh an exhausted, “No dad, give it a rest.”
But this time, something stuck. I may be biased, but in a world where an action figure of Vladimir Putin riding a bear is selling for $37 a pop, this doesn’t sound altogether too outlandish.
However, the idea is just the beginning and as Ali Kermani, creator of the Crazy Cart pointed out only last week, ‘ideas are a dime a dozen.’
Yes, it’s the execution that’s worth a million dollars. And there lies the second hurdle.
Last month, ToyNews released its Top 50 Toys of all Time, celebrating some of the most cherished and championed toys voted for by the industry. It was an eclectic mix, ranging from the likes of LEGO to the slightly more niche, Boglins.
Despite their differences in popularity, it was clear that each toy in the list had one thing in common: they were all superbly executed ideas.
And when it comes to brilliant ideas, the past week has seen some real advancements of its own.
LEGO enthusiasts can now invent their own LEGO set concepts and share them with a community of toy builders, all thanks to the efforts of PleyWorld. Meanwhile, the more depraved among us can now take turns blowing up cats in a $5 million Kickstarter-funded card game, Exploding Kittens.
However, we have seen some horrors, too. There’s nothing quite like the sight of a My Little Pony-inspired blow up doll, or the aforementioned bare-chested Putin riding a bear, to bring you crashing back to the reality that sometimes an idea should just remain an idea.
So for now I have decided to shelf PenPalz for another day, or at least until it is forgotten about altogether. After all, I would hate to see it end up in an article titled, most ill designed toys of the 21st century.
Although, surely it will never compete with this guy: