Independent inventors, designers and manufacturers seeking to gain entry to the toy and game industry face a range of hurdles to get their product from concept to store shelf.
First, they must create a functional prototype. Then, they must choose one of two paths. One path is licensing the idea to a manufacturer in exchange for a royalty agreement. The second path is to manufacture the product themselves. If they choose this path, they must be able to source affordable, quality manufacturing, design effective packaging and finally gain distribution at a sustainable price point. The journey is not for the faint of heart.
Entering the toy and game industry can be a very expensive proposition. But with the right help, there are ways to avoid costly mistakes, cut costs, shorten the runway to success, and it can be a fun, exciting and rewarding venture!
DiscoverGames is a co-op of independent inventors and manufacturers based in Chicago, Illinois, whose members hail from across the globe. It provides resources and opportunities that small companies might not otherwise be able to access. The group is facilitated by toy and game industry veteran, Mary Couzin.
Depending on individual goals and needs of members, DiscoverGames can provide support in a number of ways.
For members with just a prototype who seek to license or sell their idea, DiscoverGames can leverage industry relationships with larger manufacturers and pitch the idea directly to decision makers for licensing consideration.
For those further along in the process, who have chosen to function as independent manufacturers with inventory ready to be sold to retail stores, DiscoverGames provides access to retailers and consumers at three critical trade shows that include: New York Toy Fair, American Specialty Toy Retailers Association (ASTRA) Marketplace, and the Chicago Toy & Game Fair consumer show. This is a valuable resource for small companies, saving them thousands of dollars, and allowing them to gain exposure at these critical industry events that they might otherwise not be able to afford.
Showcasing member products in a professional, attractive booth at each industry trade show, the DiscoverGames team demonstrates and pitches them to buyers, media, distributors, sales representatives and potential licensees on behalf of members.
DiscoverGames works on a 12-month membership basis. Members can join anytime throughout the year. Members can access a vast amount of free support resources on the DiscoverGames.com website at their convenience. They can also receive referrals and introductions to industry experts and consultants who can provide additional strategic services for a variety of product and business development challenges.
Visit DiscoverGames to learn more about membership.
Current DiscoverGames members include:
Alberts Insomnia by RJB3 Games : Ages 6-99 | 1 or more players | 20 minutes | $9.99 + up
Jukem Football card game by Flying Pig Games : Ages 8+ | 2-4 players | 20 minutes | $12.99
Wine-O bingo game by CDA Gifts : Adults | Up to 12 players | 60 minutes | $49.99
Yoga Spinner board game by UpsideDown Games : Ages 6+ | 2-4 players | 20 minutes | $15.99
Life on the Farm board game by WeRFun Games : Ages 8 to 108 | 2-4 players | 60 minutes | $25.00
The Reading Game by Allsaid & Dunn : Ages 6+ | 1 or more players | 20 minutes | $24.95
Brik-Tek construction blocks by BRMB Inc. : Ages 6+ | 1 or more players | 20 minutes | $9.99 + up
Top Trumps card game by Top Trumps USA : Ages 6+ | 2 or more players | 20 minutes | $7.99
Floppets by Zydeco Studios: Ages 4+ | $3.99
Disclosure: The author of this story works with the DiscoverGames co-op on a volunteer basis to support their efforts in providing better industry access to small independent inventors, with the goal of improving the toy industry and ultimately providing the best quality toys and games to consumers. The author is also a member of DiscoverGames.