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Pioneers blog

Consider play patterns when designing toys for the future

  When I first started the Toy Pioneers Club, I wanted to provide a platform to help the dreamers, forward-thinkers, and innovators of the world succeed in making toys which benefit the children of the future. This vision, along with the arrival of World Play...

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Is it time we redefine the toy?

The recent announcement of the LEGO braille brick demonstrated how an ingenious tweak to a classic design can open a toy up to a wider, more inclusive audience. This got me thinking about how we might look to redefine toys to become more accessible. A brief history...

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Lessons learnt delivering a $1.6M Kickstarter campaign

  Traditional investment is becoming more difficult to secure, yet the demand for early-stage capital remains. As a result, crowdfunding has become the go-to alternative source for startups looking to secure funds for early prototypes and new products, and to...

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A pioneer’s perspective on toy fair season

  Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve managed to squeeze in three of Europe’s biggest industry events for education and play: the London and Nuremberg Toy Fairs and ed-innovation classic, The Bett Show. Here are my takeaways from the experience.   Skills of...

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Is character licensing right for your product?

  News that Sphero is to discontinue their Disney line and potentially move away from licensed products altogether has led the toy industry to ponder if other startups might follow suit. To character license or not is indeed an interesting dilemma and one I...

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Is it possible to build a successful hardware toy startup?

  I was recently asked this question as part of a panel discussion and safe to say, I was stumped. Not only did I not know for certain, but there were also multiple dimensions to consider. In answer to the questions, I ended up saying a very ambivalent, “I don’t...

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