Last week, we went up to Harrogate for this year's Toymaster show.
It was a great show (and not just because of the incredible mariachi band), but as it's primarly an event for retailers, we decided to sneak in with our inventor hats on and quiz companies on how best to approach them as well as getting their top tips on how best to get your ideas into that next stage of development.
This week's Bulletin features these in more detail, but the overiding piece of advice was: do your homework
Whether it's reseaching the market you're going into to ensure your creation is as original as you think, or brushing up on a toy firm to best find out where your toy would fit within its portfolio, according to the manufacturers, that age old coffee mug quote is true: 'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail'.
Meanwhile in Japan....
While we're all about championing inventors, there is a line. Yes, this week's inventor on the naughty step is video game icon, Hideo Kojima who has taken some criticism over a tweet about a new Metal Gear Solid action figure.
The designer tweeted a photo of Play Arts' upcoming action figure of Metal Gear Solid V character Quiet, boasting about a sexually suggestive feature of the toy, namely breasts that can be 'pushed and lifted'.
We're not angry, we're just very disappointed. If we see anything of the sort at this year's Inventors Workshop, there'll be trouble.
Anyway, not to end on a sour note, I really wasn't lying about the mariachi band:
— Billy Langsworthy (@Ace_Groovy) May 12, 2015