LEADER: Crowd control

This week, we preach the power of crowdfunding.
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Elan Lee and Shane Small, two ex-Xbox execs, and Matthew Inman created a card game called Exploding Kittens.

The game sees players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten and loses the game.

The team's first port of call was Kickstarter, claiming 'it's the fastest way for us to get the game into your hands'. They hoped the campaign would make it to the $10,000 mark, a figure that would allow for the first production run.

Within 24 hours, the Exploding Kittens campaign had passed the $10,000 mark.

Fast forward a month later, and the campaign is now over, having raised a whopping $8,782,571. It's the third biggest campaign to ever hit Kickstarter.

And it wasn't just eight card game loving millionaires that got involved. As a result of the campaign, Exploding Kittens is heading to 219,382 backers from all over the world who were all passionate about the concept.

It's a recent example but one that proves the power of crowdfunding more than any other in the toy space. The medium has been utilised in the worlds of tech, music and film (Spike Lee turned to Kickstarter to fund his most recent movie) and toy inventors are now in on the act.

While the support of a high profile game publisher provides a prospective audience, marketing clout and a slice of the profits, crowdfunding platforms are giving inventors the opportunity to release toys on their own terms.

If funded, this means creative control, a guaranteed (and sometimes vast) audience waiting for the product and a rare active relationship with consumers.

For toy inventors looking to get their concept out there, the likes of Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and new toy-focused crowdfunding platform ToyBacker, are well worth considering.

But, without wishing to pour cold water over the previous 289 words, you've got to put the effort in, as a bad campaign page or video can often do more damage than good. (I'm looking at you Sweety Onion).

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