The first in a series of advice columns from Wow! Stuff CEO Richard North tackles how to choose which toy firms to target.

Northy’s Inventor Mantras: Target the right toy company

Wow! Stuff, and more exactly our technical division Wow! Labs, is a toy inventor company.

We were over the moon to have won the 2014 inventor award from Hasbro at the International Toy Fair in New York earlier in the year for our robot blaster that we created for their fabulous Nerf brand.

I think that’s when we thought we had officially ‘qualified’ into the inventor community in the US, where we have an LA office and some super bright creatives.

We share the ups and downs of every inventor we have met, and as a toy and gift company we also invite pitches to Wow! Stuff ( across RC (remote, radio and infra-red control) for our very fast growing TX Juice brand.

And also in areas of sub £10.00 at retail for our Scientific Curiosities and other areas across gift/toys that are relevant to our brands.

Like Google often preaches, it’s all about relevance.

Can you see how I’m broadcasting what we are interested in, and therefore as importantly what we aren’t?

I get asked occasionally from an inventor, "How do you know you I don’t have the next big thing if you aren’t interested in even seeing it? You could go massive in a new category?"

My answer is always the same: Because if it isn’t in the areas we are in, or are planned to go into, then it’s a distraction we can ill afford.

So, I have come to realise that pitching a doll to the games inventor relations of a toy company just doesn’t work. Most companies will have set their strategies and categories several years ago.

So this week’s bite-size inventor mantras:

  • Target the right toy company!
  • Pitch to the right person! (Inventor relations manager, in the right category!)

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