Trouble getting noticed? 'Research is the answer', say leading toy firms

“The best advice I can give is to spend a lot of time researching your ideas to make sure that they make sense in the market.”
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Research is key to getting your ideas noticed by toy companies, according to two of the industry’s leading toy developers.

Spin Master’s director of acquisitions, Ben Dermer and Coiledspring’s head of game development, Andrea Dalton believe that when it comes to making toy manufacturers sit up and take notice, knowledge is your greatest asset.

“The best advice I can give is to spend a lot of time researching your ideas to make sure that they make sense in the market,” Spinmaster’s Dermer told ToyNews.

“Make sure they are original, appropriate for the company to which you are pitching them and then go and execute them at a level that effectively proves their original state and value.”

Market research is regarded in equal measure, championed by the pair not only as an important stage in testing a game or product’s playability, but also for building a community of fans.

Coiledspring’s Dalton said: “We rarely want to distribute a game that is for a niche market, so test your game on a wide audience and get lots of feedback so you can promote your product confidently.”

However, more than anything, what is destined to have firms take notice of your product is its all important hook.

“I want to be shown a product that makes me want to shout about it,” continued Dalton. “There are many great games out there, but sometimes when it’s over that’s the end of it.

“The best games create a real urge to play it again – that’s when you know it’s got potential.”

And it’s a sentiment echoed by Dermer, who explains that ‘magic is the key ingredient to a successful toy.’

“We are looking for that thing that is really exciting, fun and unique,” he said.

“Beyond that though, we’re looking to find that magic within something that is relatively easy to communicate and straightforward, has broad appeal and is manufacturable.”

Dermer adds that often, an inventor’s downfall is in the perspective of their creation, and while passion is the driver of creation, he summarises that toy developers ultimately need to “try to be objective about your idea’s place in the world and how others will see it.”

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