Toy & Game Design
& Design Toys & Games
Some of our developments:
Challenging game play for kids
and families. Learn the Bible books from Genesis to Revelation. Cards include
a written summary content of each of the books of the Bible. More than three
ways to play.
Isabel from New Zealand writes, "Thanks for
all your work to create this game. I have been using it with SS kids
to learn the content of 8 books at a time and it has been really good.
Often we focus only on the names of the books of the Bible, but
then they have no idea about the story in them. Your game helps heaps.
Thank you. God bless you!"
contains the rules and illustrations for a few classic games like Hopscotch and Four Square.
However, I've developed some new classics for kids to add to their list of outdoor
games! Chalk-It-Up encourages independent play in children! Just chalk it up to
another day of fun!
Click here for
Howie Weiss writes, "The games
in this book are easy to implement and fun to play. The illustrations
make the games very clear. They can be played in small groups with
family and friends and require very little investment. There is a good
combination of action and sedentary games as well. This book shows how
to get kids moving and enjoying themselves without much supervision.
It will definitely get them off the couch."
~ Howie Weiss WeissIce@aol.com
Mentor to Younger Physical Education Teachers
Physical education teacher for over 30 years.
Author of Fun,
Fitness and Skills, The Powerful Original Games Approach
Joe Gallo writes, "The
book was really great. It is very user friendly and was fun to
flip through...You could easily get a new idea quickly for a future
use. I found a few games that I had played before, a few more
that were similar but with an interesting twist to them and
wonderfully several new ideas. They all seem to be easy enough
to teach and exciting enough for kids to keep playing them. I
will use the book on more than one occasion, I am sure."
~ Joe Gallo firstname.lastname@example.org
Elementary Physical Education - Edgewood Elementary School K-5 -
BS in Health and Physical Education - PA and NJ certified teacher
- Teaching since 1990
Pennsbury School District Demonstration Teacher
skill, eye-hand coordination and strategy plays. Fun for the whole family!
was created for the Sunday comics section of newspapers World-Wide. Check out
Gallery, and see Tangram designs sent in by children from all
across the world!
An educational game and learning package for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
for the school children of Texas. The goal of,
"WHERE THE BISON ROAM"
is to instruct children concerning the Bison Herd and Eco-Regions of Texas. (Click the link to print out a bison, animated flip
ON PUBLISHING A GAME
From time to time people write in to ask how they too can get started in the toy and game business?
I do not review other designer's games. However, the following
questions are from letters I've received and are answered according to my own personal experience.
Click the question for the answer or scroll down the page to read my response.
How do you submit ideas to companies?
do I contact?
Do you just DESCRIBE your game ideas or
do you actually
make them and send them?
Do you get them copyrighted or patented, first?
Do you contact a business to discuss your ideas,
or do you just SEND them
without contacting them?
How long did you have to wait until you received an answer?
Do you make up prototypes and send them all at once?
I submitted something back in, oh, I guess it was August. I STILL haven't heard anything from them. Is that typical or should I just consider it a "no"?
I am a stay at home mom with 3 kids and during my Christmas shopping, came up with an idea for a jump rope that I think could be a big hit.
I think it would sell, but am not sure what the manufacturing costs would be so I don't know if it would be profitable.
Do you license your game ideas or
do you manufacture and market them yourself?
Do you apply for a patent as your first step?
I would love to find a small manufacturer to work with.
>How do you submit ideas to companies?
You first target the kinds of companies that would be interested in your work. For instance. Say you've developed a preschool game, and then tried to submit it to a doll making company. The doll making company isn't going to change their primary focus for one product. You must try to market that game to a preschool game making company.
You need to know that it is extremely hard, if not impossible, to market a classic styled board game, such as CandyLand and Chutes & Ladders. The major game companies want a unique mechanical feature that razzle dazzles for the commercials. They are not particularly interested in whether or not the game is even fun! Their primary focus is, "Does it show well on TV?" (I actually had the VP of one of the largest game companies tell me this!) Obviously everyone wants to make money in the toy and game business. (Business is the keyword.) However, I believe that if a game isn't fun and doesn't offer a challenge to children, then that game isn't a success. A game that isn't fun and challenging may sell well initially, but it will never last the test of time like the CandyLands and Chutes & Ladders of the world!
>Do you make up prototypes and send them all at once?
Sometimes I send products simultaneously. Sometimes I do not. Some companies will say they don't mind and others will request that you don't. One company
I've worked with says you may only submit to them and puts this into their disclosure agreement. Which by the way is something else that usually is signed before you submit to a toy/game company. On rare occasions a company will not have a disclosure agreement, so I request that they sign mine before submitting to them.
>Do you just DESCRIBE your game ideas or do you actually
make them and send them?
Most companies want a finished, play tested and proven prototype to review for themselves. Did I mention play testing? This is EXTREMELY important! You won't know if the item works well until it's play tested.
>Do you get them copyrighted or patented, first?
Check out my
for the copyright/trademark office. (Sorry you'll have to investigate this on your own. Ask for their free materials and READ it.)
>Do you contact a business to discuss your ideas, or do you just SEND them
without contacting them?
NO WAY! NEVER EVER JUST SEND IN YOUR IDEAS!! First, find out who is the VP of Product Development (game/toy co.) or the Submissions Editor (publishing). Ask about their outside submission policy. Most major toy/game companies will only work through established brokers, which you must pay upfront, and there is no guarantee they'll ever present your product. When I first started this back in 1993, I did everything the old fashion way (snail mail, writing letters, Thomas Register, to find my contacts.) But now, with the Internet, you can find most of this information regarding submission policies on the websites of most companies. Check out my links page for more info on the toy business.
>How long do you have to wait until you received an answer?
Sometimes several months. However, after three months, I either write another letter, or I call them and ask if they've reached a decision.
>I submitted something back in, oh, I guess it was August. I STILL haven't heard anything from them. Is that typical or should I just consider it a "no"?
Don't be surprised if they've lost it. Also, be aware that it is possible to get ripped off too. Be careful how you submit. Send everything with return receipt or mail/UPS tracking. I hope this helps you!
>I am a stay at home mom with 3 kids and during my Christmas shopping, came up with an idea for a jump rope that I think could be a big hit.
That's basically how I got started back in 1993. :o) Do you have more than an idea? Do you have a prototype? I do not know of many companies willing to look at ideas on 'paper'. They want working prototypes. You need to be able to play test your idea on live children ;o)
>I think it would sell, but am not sure what the manufacturing costs
would be, so I don't know if it would be profitable.
These are your choices:
1. Do it yourself which requires a lot of money upfront and knowledge of the business of toys, and how to sell them.
2. License your idea to an established toy company. IF a company licenses it, you will receive anywhere from 2-10% of the gross sales of the product. However, finding the company to license your product is EXTREMELY difficult. Most companies have their own product development department.
>Do you license your game ideas or do you manufacture and market them yourself?
I license them.
>Do you apply for a patent as your first step?
No. I would suggest that you study to understand what 'is' and 'is not' covered in trademark/patent/copyright laws. Even with a patent, an idea can be changed and ripped off. So understand what you're trying to accomplish. (Check out my links page.)
>I would love to find a small manufacturer to work with.
Finding a small manufacturer is the best first step. Most smaller companies do not have a large product development team.
Who do I contact?
Subscribe to the BloomReport.com, the online Toy News Information Center.
Have a question? Email: Sarah@creativeimaginations.net
If I can answer it, I'll post it here.
Wishing you success,
Sarah Keith <><
The Internet "Toy News"
To subscribe to this free resource, click the title!
Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous year from
Copyright 1997 Sarah Keith of Creative Imaginations
All Rights Reserved