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The Toy and Game Inventor's Handbook
Richard Levy, Ronald Weingartner

The Toy and Game Inventor's Handbook book cover picture

This is another great book from Richard Levy; this time assisted by a longtime insider in the halls of toy companies, Ronald Weingartner. The worst part of this book is it spends the first few chapters yacking about the history of the toy industry and simultaneously telling you that essentially you cannot get into it because it's so tough and nobody knows you. Of course they are right that it is tough but the book does go on to carefully explain how you can get into it without being "known" first. And the point is you won't become properly known unless you make sure you first understand what toy ideas NOT to present--hint: ones that have already been done and/or are already on the market.

Where the book really shines though is when it starts getting into the nitty-gritty of what you need to do before you hardly begin thinking about becoming a toy inventor. What you need to do to check out your ideas before you spend money. What you need to do to wisely spend money--and, yes, you will have to almost always spend money--including considering patents and trademarks (neither of which are essential but may be appropriate). What you need to do to figure out what companies you should present to. How to arrange an opportunity to present your new toy or game. What you need to have in your presentation. How to give your presentation effectively. And how to follow-up but not be a pest.

Also discussed are agents. Do you need one? What companies are they mandatory for? How to make a deal with an agent. How to deal with licensing--including a full sample licensing agreement with notes. And how to happily deal with re-negotiation when it becomes necessary to turn around a situation that isn't working. You will also learn about third-party licensing where, for example, your toy or game is converted to support characters owned by another party rather than your own characters.

While a substantial part of the appendixes is brief biographies of prolific or famous toy and game inventors there is also a large listing of toy and game manufacturers with specific contact people, addresses, and phone numbers that alone is worth the price of the book. You will also find an excellent glossary so you can talk the talk rather than sitting there looking like a chump when Mr. Big asks "Any self-liquidator opportunities?"

If you have a toy or game, or are contemplating creating a toy or game, this book is an essential addition to your library--assuming, that is, you want to substantially increase your odds of success.

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