Lifting the Lid

This week we move from Northy's Inventor Mantras to Lifting the Lid on inventor company ideation and invention. Wow! Stuff boss Richard North offers a challenge...
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Within our group of SME companies we have an inventor business called Wow! Labs. They're an innovative and very sharp bunch that create the 'not done before' stuff.

Over the years that comes with all sorts of areas and challenges within the business world that they've had to get grips with.

So this week I'm setting myself and Wow! Labs a challenge. Just like all inventors and inventor companies you cannot get enough great ideas on your own. So despite the fact we won Hasbro's inventor award 2014 we are going to collaborate once more...

I want to seek out the best of the toy and gift inventor companies, not individuals, but companies that have made their business focused on developing great IP (Intellectual Property) for other companies.

I want to put them and any opportunities that come from our collaborations under the spotlight and share the journey with the readers of ToyNews.

Now, this is self serving of course. As a company our gifts/crossover toys business (Science Museum, QI and Mensa puzzles) has grown in the last 24 months at a significant rate of 50 per cent year on year. 

But as you all know in the toy industry you are only as good as the next years offering of products and brands. Our Science Museum and Mensa Puzzle brands particularly have proven themselves to be evergreens. Year in year out they just sell. But we still need that 'killer product' or sometimes even a whole range for a new licensed brand.

So there's the challenge to you inventor companies, what can we do together that's greater than the sum of the parts?

Oh, and of course there's a catch.

I'm going to reveal the whole process so that others in the industry can understand the value and process of these collaborations. This stuff sometimes takes years to find out. From how much you should budget for a prototype to where on earth you can find the right inventor company to add value to your brands or product line in the first damn place.

So spread the word and send me contact details at my email address:

I will arrange to meet a few of these inventor companies and settle on one or two in order to share a warts and all journey from initial meeting to prototype product/s (with their permission of course).


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To invent or copy?

That is the question. Here, Richard Heayes reveals what toy firms need to bear in mind when striving for the innovation that keeps the industry moving forward.

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