Tech will never outweigh play value, says toy inventor company Carterbench

Carterbench has seen many changes in its 20 years but says its own success comes from ‘delivering products that incorporate a new twist on traditional play.’
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Technology has forced toy invention to evolve, but the basic rules remain the same and a successful toy can be boiled down to one thing: play value.

These are the words of one of the world’s leading toy invention companies, Carterbench who notes that while technology and the rise of brand licensing are now major considerations when designing a toy, its worth is ultimately in its playability.

A firm with a long history of partnering with inventors, Carterbench has seen many changes in its 20 years but says that most of its own success comes from ‘delivering products that incorporate a new twist on traditional play.’

“Toy invention and the toy market has certainly evolved over the years and today, it is quite definitely affected by technology and licensing,” Suzanne Robinson, director at Carterbench told ToyNews.

“So our success can be largely attributed to designing products that feature a new twist on traditional play, because ultimately successful toy invention boils down to play value.”

One of the firm’s biggest success stories is its patented Virtual Video technology, which having been licensed across the industry can now be found in various products, including MB Games’ Dream Phone.

So, what does Caterbench advise the rising stars of the toy industry to do once they’ve devised a means of updating those traditional play values for themselves?

“Patent it,” Robinson informed. “For a product to be successful, the toy or game needs to be unique or contain a unique mechanism or feature.

“Not all mechanisms are patentable, so this is not a prerequisite, however patentable elements are advantageous.”

Carterbench is now looking to forge new partnerships with aspiring inventors and urges interested individuals to get in touch for an initial evaluation of an idea, all of course, under the strictest of confidence.


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Traditional or tech toys?

This month, Robert Hutchins asks our panel of toy retail buyers how they strike the balance between stocking tech-focused and more traditional toys, and if higher-priced tech toys are taking more shelf space

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