Inventors have always been considered as one of the pillars of Spin Master’s success, according to the firm’s executive vice president, Ben Varadi.
Over the course of the global toy company’s long history, inventors have played an integral role within its achievements and can be traced back to the emergence of AirHogs from inventor duo, Dixon Manning.
It is a heritage of inventor relations that both the firm and Varadi are very proud of, and one it aims to uphold for some time to come.
“More than any toy company out there, inventors have been one of the pillars of this firm,” Varadi told ToyNews.
“And I still get very hands on with the inventors themselves. Any item that gets brought in, I see probably 95 per cent of them, and we go through them together.
“It’s great bringing these toys to life for a living. I mean. It’s not easy, but when it works it is creative and it probably beats most professions for excitement and interest.
“And just the inventors as people, are such an eclectic bunch of people with very diverse interests and personalities, that it makes them a joy to work with.”
Based in the US, Spin Master first started building up its portfolio of inventors across the pond, before tapping in to the creativity of the British Isles.
“It’s possible that England is the second most inventor-populated lace on Earth,” continued Varadi. “The first is the US, but England is a very close second.”
Last month, Varadi joined the festivities at the London Toy Fair, where he was on hand to launch the latest development from the Spin Master eggheads, a Meccano robot that can mimic the movements of its creators.
Between the photoshoots and TV appearances with his robot, Meccanoid, Varadi took the time to offer ToyNews readers his top tips for toy invention success.
“Don’t just build a better Mousetrap, zig when people are zagging,” he suggested. “If there is a hot item out there, don’t just do a small variation on it. That’s already been done, and when it finally comes out, it will be old news.”
Varadi also notes that with today’s advances in technology, inventing is becoming a tougher nut to crack.
“If you don’t have engineering or building skills, it is harder than ever,” he said. “You used to be able to sell on a drawing, now it needs mechanisms. If you are technologically inclined, that really helps.”
However, don’t get lost in the tech, is his final point of advice.
“Keep what you are inventing simple and think about its magic moment. You don’t need 20 magic moments [in a toy], but one or two is really important. And remember, if it is too hard to explain, then it is too complicated.”