Each month, a toy inventor will give us, first hand, their trials and tribulations in their quest to get products to market. This month, Jan Grime explains her struggle to launch Shape Kids, a range of buildable shape character toys.

DIARY OF AN INVENTOR: Jan Grime and Shape Kids

I tried for ten months here in New Zealand to get them made and quite a few people were very interested, but no one could do them for less than $29 so I got in touch with an online company called Salehoo who have done the hard work with companies overseas by checking them all out.

I paid my fee and that gave me access to some company names. I picked Hexin Toys in China, a firm that has made toys for Hasbro and Tomy, but dealing with them was very hard because of the language differences. I often got emails that I couldn’t understand and so did they, but we got there in the end.

I sent a set to the BBC but haven’t heard anything.

I emailed to ask if they had received them but they ignored my email. I rang Toys R Us and the girl on the reception put me through to their buyer and she said “yes send a set”. I did, but it took me ages to get through to her and then she said, "oh we can’t accept wooden toys."

I didn’t get in touch with any crowdfunders, as I didn’t know they existed unfortunately.

I paid to get a business mentor at the end of last year and he said he couldn’t help me as I had done everything he would have suggested, so that was another waste of money.

It’s like I am banging my head against a brick wall, it is so frustrating.

Two clairvoyants told me separately that Shape Kids would fly off the shelves once they hit England, but I am not sure where to go next.

I would gladly move back to the UK if I had someone willing to help me get to the next level.

If you are an inventor and you’d like to share your story, email us at Billy.Langsworthy@intentmedia.co.uk.

About dt-admin

Check Also

Are you buying it? Lunchables takes over FAO Schwarz as it claims new title of ‘buildable toy’

Feast your eyes on this, the US snack brand, Lunchables is now a toy. At …