Canadian toy company Tech 4 Kids has revealed that some of its “very biggest and most important projects” are coming from within its inventor developments.
The Mississauga-based firm, which represents brands such as My Little Pony and Disney’s Frozen across the territory, has made strong headway with toy inventor projects over the last year.
Last summer saw the firm debut its new range of collectables Nitro Grinders, a project launched in partnership with the toy’s inventor Latham Gaines.
Tech 4 Kids’ CEO, Brad Pedersen reports that the irreverent stunt riders have so far been met with open arms by youngsters, and believes their success to be a result of the strong partnership between his firm and the brand’s creator.
In an interview with Canadian economic-focused publication, The Star, Gaines revealed that while most toy businesses of today work via in-house inventing groups, his company, Opi and Me take a very different approach.
“I work slower, because I don’t have many people helping me and I have fewer products, but I like to they’re more innovative,” he said.
And Gaines’ own company, Opi and Me is no stranger to success itself, having signed over 20 licensing deals with major toy companies, including Mattel’s Hot Wheels Spin Shotz.
However, despite having worked with some big name toy makers, the creative insists he cherishes the toy inventor’s emphasis on the auteur.
“When you come up with something you have two choices: try to fund it yourself and make the thing and take all the risks and take all the reward; or you can license it, but then you’re really only getting five per cent of what they’re going to make and about five per cent say in what’s going to happen,” he explained.
The working partnership between Gaines and Pedersen has been commended for its rarity by many in the toy industry, including Gaines’ New York-based licensing agent, Howard Fleischer.
“When companies are taken over by the accountants and the lawyers, when it goes to the people that are not centered or planted in the creative process, that’s when companies start to trip up,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tech 4 Kids’ Pedersen is looking forward to what new inventor relations 2015 has to bring, but parts with one piece of important advice when pitching ideas.
“We’ll know if an inventor really believes in their invention by the amount of effort they put in to their presentation,” he explained.
“It doesn’t have to be a finely finished product, but with the tools that are available today, it’s never been easier for an inventor to come up with an idea and to transmute it into something that is presentable,” he concluded.