As if we needed more proof of the eclectic world of toy inventors, that it was announced that the INPEX Inventors University is being renamed the George Foreman Inventors University.
Now I should add, it’s not a physical university that specialises in teaching students how to best reduce the fat content in grilled food (although if it was, I’d be there in a flash).
Instead, the George Foreman Inventors University is an online platform designed to provide educational information to inventors of all disciplines.
The video seminars, presentations and panel discussions aim to provide information inventors may find useful in pursuing their inventions or new product ideas.
"America was built in a garage somewhere by someone with a dream," said Foreman.
"Keep building, keep dreaming and make me proud of you."
I’m can’t agree with George enough (I mean, I was never going to disagree with him. Have you seen his swing?) and the programme shines a spotlight on education.
We’re attempting to bring newcomers to the toy industry up to speed with our conference programme at this year’s Inventors Workshop.
A survey we ran with 2,000 inventors earlier this year found that 86 per cent of those asked didn’t take a design course and 50 per cent said if a product/toy design course had existed when they went to university, they would have taken it.
The survey also found that people there need to more toy design courses at uni level and more secondary school courses aimed at engineering and design.
Many also felt that the idea of product design needs to be introduced at Primary School stage in order to get children thinking about the basic practically of how to bring an idea to life.
In the toy industry, you don’t know what you don’t know, so any tools out there to help the public make their ideas a reality should be championed.