Inventors tend to think ‘I have an idea, and here’s the whole idea’.
For toy companies, we have brands, and brands that we’re developing. The best way to get an invention to market is to have it completely synchronised with a brand that somebody already has.
So understanding somebody’s brand and how your concept would fit into that brand (either as a individual product within it, or an extension of it) is hugely important and will make it far more successful.
Toy companies are looking for things that fit with their brands. It’s very rare that someone comes up with a concept that’s worth the investment to create a completely new brand, particularly with the big companies.
For us, it’s all about how can we make K’NEX bigger.
With K’FORCE, if somebody came to us and said ‘why don’t you do blasters?’ that doesn’t help us. But if somebody said ‘I’ve made a blaster chamber and this is how it works within the K’NEX system’, the relevance is there.