The invention test

Is it true that everyone has at least one idea for a new toy kicking around in their heads?
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It's said that everyone has the ability to write a novel in them, but is it also true that everyone has at least one idea for a new toy kicking around in their heads?

A quick straw poll of the ToyNews team unearthed some pretty random ideas – including a real life Mask like the one worn by Jim Carrey in the Nineties film, a Girls World doll with hair which actually grows back when you cut it and something which isn’t noisy or messy.

While I’m not sure that we’d cut it on Dragons’ Den or be successful in the crowdfunding space, there are plenty of people out there who have both the imagination and the skills to come up with tomorrow’s hot toys.

It’s the next step which is often the biggest hurdle: getting them to market.

Do you trawl round trade fairs with your prototypes hoping you can catch the eye of a product development manager? Ask for private funding from a bank or business angels? Or go down the aforementioned Dragons’ Den route?

Each method has its own benefits and pitfalls, but the one thing which always helps is advice from people in the know, or who have been there themselves.

Which is why ToyNews has this month kicked off a series of articles designed to help toy inventors understand the various options open to them, and give them a fighting chance of ultimately seeing their products on retai l shelves.

We’re beginning with crowdfunding, which over the past 18 months has really captured the attention of the public.

Seemingly easier than going to a private investment company, various projects have got off the ground this way, but it has its drawbacks, too. We’ve spoken to those who have enjoyed success – and those who haven’t, here.

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