5, 4, 3, 2 1 Things About toy inventor and Make writer Bob Knetzger

5, 4, 3, 2 1 Things About toy inventor and Make writer Bob Knetzger

Being an independent toy inventor is a lifetime full of making mistakes. R&D is “doing everything the wrong way first.”  You never know what will make for the latest trend—or be a flop! Early on I passed on getting in on making toys for a kid’s TV show that featured a goofy purple dinosaur. That turned out to be PBS’s Barney—oops! Lesson learned: no one knows!

Read More

TAGIE Young Inventor Winners Duncan and Hayden on Two Bros Bows

TAGIE Young Inventor Winners Duncan and Hayden on Two Bros Bows

We host two events for young inventors. The Young Inventor Challenge at the Fair is for young inventors 6 to 18 with an idea and not in retail. Some of them have gone on to be licensed by toy and game companies. The TAGIE Awards have a category for young inventors that have product being sold in retail. The winner of the Young Inventor TAGIE last November was Duncan and Hayden from Two Bros Bows. They really are brothers and they make safe bows that sell like crazy. I asked them why and how did they get into the Toy and Game industry and they said, "Seeing the movie "Brave" and wanting to earn some money!!" They've certainly done that! 

Read More

Shattering Stereotypes In The Toy Industry And The White House Took Notice

Shattering Stereotypes In The Toy Industry And The White House Took Notice

Going against stereotypes is never easy.  Change has been slow and many toy store buyers have told me, “I love your product, but it’ll never sell because it is not mainstream.  It’s not a fashion doll and girls like fashion.”  As a woman and a mother of a daughter I am positive girls like more than fashion.  I also know mainstream ideas never create change and I am creating change.

Read More

Ruth Elliott – Delighted and Surprised to be an I.D.I.O.T.

Ruth Elliott – Delighted and Surprised to be an I.D.I.O.T.

This month's interview is with Ruth Elliott co-founder of Big Ideas Product Development, based in Manchester UK.   Ruth was the recipient of this year's International Designer and Inventor of Toys Award- affectionately known as the I.D.I.O.T. Award! This is presented at theUK Toy Inventor 's dinner and given as a tribute to luminaries who have made outstanding contributions to the Toy industry.

Read More

Starting Strong: Blocks and Puzzles Are More Than Just Fun

Starting Strong: Blocks and Puzzles Are More Than Just Fun

Babies, toddlers and preschoolers don’t do homework. Instead of “work” at home, they play at home, as well as in child care centers, children’s museums and outside. As they play, they learn new vocabulary and other language skills, as well as becoming able to imagine, to cooperate, and much more. Lately, developmental scientists have been finding out more about how specific toys help children develop specific, important thinking skills, discovering that play with blocks and puzzles is particularly important for strengthening spatial thinking. This kind of thought is central to human intelligence and related to math and other STEM disciplines.

Read More