Welcome to the forums!

Our encouraging community is a dedicated resource for innovators everywhere.

Learn about industry trends, common questions,
and stay informed of the latest happenings at Edison Nation.

Mattel® seeks outdoor toys that can be used for sports activities and games.

lorax2719's Avatargold

Toy giant Mattel® is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. Since 1945, the Mattel® family has encompassed such brands as Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Tyco® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines.

Deadline: May 16th, 2011 at midnight, PST.

http://www.edisonnation.com/live_product_search...

Happy Inventing!

Kelly

posted    Report this topic
Reply
miked's Avatar

Fantastic – can someone tell me what “compound innovations” means?

posted    Report this post
cabby's Avatar

I was wondering the same thing Micheal. I think what they mean is that they don’t want people to take 2 products currently on the market and turn them into one product. Hopefully someone else has a better explanation.

posted    Report this post
cabby's Avatar

Guess I was wrong, I looked at the description again and it says they ARE looking for compound innovations. Now I am confused.

posted    Report this post
chaser323's Avatar

My guess would be several New changes/uses, put together into one new product. Clint , compound innovations. may just be as you said.

posted    Report this post
lorax2719's Avatargold

A compound innovation can refer to a type of material you create that contains more than one part or consisting of two or more substances, ingredients, elements, or parts. For example, a chemical compound consists of two or more elements.

Hope this helps just a bit. We may be able to do a Q&A later.

Thanks!
Kelly

posted    Report this post
cabby's Avatar

Thanks Kelly. If you could do a Q&A that would be very helpful.

posted    Report this post
amelia's Avatar

“compound innovations to outdoor toys that can be used for conflict play (e.g. guns, swords, tag, etc.) and/or sports activities (football, soccer, basketball, etc.).”
I understood as being part of or work along with. Non compound then would be a toy that stands alone as a totally new concept…???

posted    Report this post
tjm's Avatar
Yes this will be one of the questions for the Q & A i am assuming they do not want to sell the footballs, basketballs , soccerballs etc. considering the price point is 20 to 50 dollars that would eat all the budget just for the balls, just the innovations to go along with them ? TJM.
posted    Report this post
chaser323's Avatar

Well! looks like I’m back in the game, Just came up with presentable concept and drawings for a, with finger crossed, new mattels game. Going for the green.

posted    Report this post
cabby's Avatar

Nice Don! Your not wasting time on this one. Go for the Green!

posted    Report this post
richardyost's Avatargold

Hey Flora, you mean like sword-soccer, or football where instead of tackling you get the gun out and shoot them? Or with baseball when the hitter is running to the bases, instead of touching him with the ball, you tackle him? HaHaHa Just kidding.

posted    Report this post
imajane's Avatarname search

Richard, you’ve got 3 or 4 great ideas in there! lol!!!

posted    Report this post
amelia's Avatar

Hey Richard I have been cracking my head thinking about that!:> Anyway when you think about how boys play…is there something that could be safe!!!
How about a sword with a gun at the tip
:>:>LOL safe enough???

posted    Report this post
imajane's Avatarname search

perfect! lol

posted    Report this post
inovate's Avataree_badge

Thats funny Flora! I’m glad that wasn’t around when I was a kid, my parents probably would have loved to get me one, especially if it was made to backfire!

posted    Report this post
joemac's Avatar

OK I am in this one…..my first ever game idea! Pretty confident with it….lets see what happens…

posted    Report this post
imajane's Avatarname search

Good luck, Joe! I dusted off an old R8 from the Ball Horticultural search last year. I realized it could be used in a completely different way and makes an even better toy/game. We shall see.

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

Looking at Kelly’s post above where she says:

“A compound innovation can refer to a type of material you create that contains more than one part or consisting of two or more substances, ingredients, elements, or parts. For example, a chemical compound consists of two or more elements.”

and what is posted about the search:

As Mattel® continues creating the future of play, they’re challenging you to ideate on safe and durable compound innovations to outdoor toys that can be used for conflict play (e.g. guns, swords, tag, etc.) and/or sports activities (football, soccer, basketball, etc.). Mattel® is also interested in outdoor innovations that are not compound based.

I would take that to mean not only are they looking for new toys, but also looking for a new type of material compound the toys could be made out of. Basically, to me they are looking for a material that could be the next NERF. So, if any of you have an idea for the next NERF type material this could be huge for you. Look at how many items are based around Nerf. This will be a big brain challenge. Good luck

posted    Report this post
amelia's Avatar

That would be good to know. Because the only chemical compound I can come up with for boys mixes A and B and glues boy to seat. Is that Styrofoam? or epoxy? In any case totally out of my capabilities. :(

posted    Report this post
inovate's Avataree_badge

Thank you Roger, For helping me to get my bearings. I was mentaly challenged again until you cleared the air. I was stuck on a rock and a stick, but it was a really nice rock. Thanks again Aloha Charlie

posted    Report this post
amelia's Avatar

Charlie you have unlimited access to lava rock, think about it…if NERF is spongy plastic then why not spongy rock???… Is Friday.

posted    Report this post
amelia's Avatar

Zyrofoam of course!

posted    Report this post
inovate's Avataree_badge

Hi Flora, how bout flava? Its kinda like flubber, but it won’t bounce. Or roll for that (matter). It just flows.

posted    Report this post
amelia's Avatar

Flava it is!! Are we submitting together?? :>:> Zyrofoam is a real product though….Flava..Why not?!!

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

Interesting ideas just make sure what ever you come up with would need to be a compound that can be used as the building structure of the toys. Look athe Nerf toys the foam is the main building block and then they attach other structures to it.

posted    Report this post
goodolbakeshop's Avatarname search

Just curious Roger…are you speaking as an inventor-mentor as we are so fortunate and accustomed to? Or are you referencing specifics regarding this search as an ENTEAM staffer with knowledge of this search?

Either way, thank you…just wondering which hat you be wearing.

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

I be wearing the Inventor hat who has dealt with Mattel and other toy companies for the last 10 years. Toys is where I got my start and I am always pitching to them. I currently have 6 toy designs with one company and three with another. You are lucky EN was able to get them as a sponsor. Mattel has a policy of only going through toy brokers or you have to be an established Inventor with a contact within the company before they will look at anything.
Plus, I have sat in on a number of brainstorming sessions with toy companies to understand when you see
“they’re challenging you to ideate on safe and durable compound innovations”

it means they don’t want the same old thing. They are wanting something that makes the toy stand out over the others on the shelf just because of what it is made from. Using Nerf again as an example. What is so special about those toys. It isn’t what they are, but what they are made of that is the attraction. They have balls, footballs, Frisbees, hoops and more all made from this material. By themselves they are just balls, footballs , etc just like their competition. Add the Nerf material and that makes them different.
I do special projects for EN from time to time as a freelancer, but I am not a ENTeam Staffer. Although that would be a cool position. One thing I get from some toy companies is called “Wish Lists” They send these out to specific Inventors they trust to not post them online. These wish lists give you a specific laundry list of targeted areas they want you to focus your energy on.
Which is great when you want to approach company X with a kite idea and you now know they are only really wanting to see different variations on Yo-Yos and outdoor pool toys. It highly increases your odds of success because you are not wasting your time and theirs sending in things which might be great ideas, but they would still turn it down because that is not the direction they are going.
So, seeing the blurb Kelly sent out and some of the responses/questions that were being posted I thought I would try and help clarify what it appears to be saying. I would hate to see someone miss a great opportunity just because they weren’t sure what it was saying.

posted    Report this post
inovate's Avataree_badge

Thanks again Roger, you really did help me to understand. But Flora and I must finish this one before I can go on. Its done, the Flava Were talking about here Flora already takes care of the building itself, so kids won’t have to do anything, just watch it real close. Kinda like video games. So you the’ll be a market for it. And the best part!! It heats up and flows again. And whats more! This is where it gets really interesting, you never know when that will happen.

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

One thing to keep in mind with toys is that kids want them to work or perform when they are in the mood to play a product that has a random factor when it might work could work against you.
Taking a traditional game and giving it a new twist helps. Because their isn’t a large learning curve for the kid. They at least know the basics when they get it. Take my Power Pitch Horseshoes as an example. I took traditional horseshoes and added a catapult launcher to it and foam horseshoes. It can be played indoors or out doors. How many people know how to play horseshoes? So, seeing my toy they GET the object of the game just from seeing the picture on the package.

posted    Report this post
goodolbakeshop's Avatarname search

Thanks for earlier post Roger. Either hat suits you well.

posted    Report this post
junqdiva's Avatar

would Mattel be interested in an accessory set that can incorporate existing toys even if those toys weren’t originally a mattel product? Perhaps something that would inspire them to add something similar to their own line? for example something used in conjunction with a hula hoop(not a current mattel product) or Does it have to go with pre-existing mattel products?

and are they open to us designing something for their entertainment afilliates, i.e. disney? Or does Disney prefer to use their own designers?

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

Krissie, each company has some of the same things as their competitors such as balls, football, etc. What they want though is for you to associate their brand with certain products or lines. If you want to get your child a small car and track you think HotWheels, doll with a lot of accessories Barbie, Foam products Nerf. Some companies know this area is pretty well covered by company X and lets them have it in favor of finding their own niche to cover.
What you want to do is find that niche for them and give them a line of products to fill that niche.

posted    Report this post
kathardt's Avatar

Let me see if I have this, because I am utterly confused – even with the explanations. They’re looking for:

Outdoor and/or combat toys
Something entirely new OR
Something old but made of a new substance (like a football made of jello?)

Is this search for chemists? Sorry, just lost and was all excited bout Mattel.

posted    Report this post
kathardt's Avatar

No board games?

posted    Report this post
goodolbakeshop's Avatarname search

Mattello Jiggler Balls

posted    Report this post
funfam4's Avatar

I took “compound innovations” to mean toys that would be a combination toy that engages both combative-type play with competitive sport-type play. Then it stated “and/or” maybe meaning also just one or the other type and that they would still consider any other outdoor toys that would be fun for active play with the targeted group being boys ages 5-11.

If they were looking for new material compounds for basic-type toys..would they really come here to EN instead of just enlisting the help from an outside laboratory?

For sure they would love something that could rival the popularity of Nerf products in that kids will want to go outdoors to actively play with this innovation (instead of staying inside and playing video games/watching tv?)

I guess we will get more answers with the Q&A session EN is planning! :-)

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

I am not a Mattel Executive, so I am telling you this based on my experience dealing with them and the toy industry. I believe they are looking for both. I agree if it was a two in one type of toy the would use words like combination, dual purpose, not compound.
That is why I believe, yes, they are looking for any new outdoor toy, but at the same time are looking for a new material to use making toys that would have the popularity of something like Nerf that is safe, but durable.
Kevin, you had me laughing so hard I was crying- Mattello Jiggler Balls. I would love to see the commercial for that. LOL : )

posted    Report this post
kathardt's Avatar

Reminds me of that movie Flubber…lol.

posted    Report this post
junqdiva's Avatar

okay…this one is for those of you out there that are under the VERY MISTAKEN impression that I am such a ‘clever’ girl…

I was out today doing some hands on product research for this Mattel LPS. I had my daughter with me to help me locate mattel products and I was trying to explain to her the whole ‘compound innovation’ concept as I understood it. I pointed out a Nerf sword that was hanging up and explained they were looking for new toy ideas using a unique new component that would become identifiable with Mattel (by the by…I think Biskit is seriously onto something…Mattello…my brain is kicking into overdrive on this one) in the same way Nerf is associated with soft foam action toys.

I decided to demonstrate… I picked up the Nerf sword, attractively packaged against a cardboard backing with twist tie securement. I squeezed the blade and marvelled at the supple softness and ingenuity. imagine my surprise to see that the handle was made of the same material but you could feel some sort of rigid support deep within the cusshioning of the foam.

“Hmmm….” I said aloud to my daughter, “I bet this could still hurt if you were really wacked with it.” and that being the last thought to precede my next action, I lifted the sword in my left hand, I held my right forearm out in front of my body, and with the force that would have done a Jedi knight proud…I brought the blade down like the hammer of Thor onto my unsuspecting right forearm….

You should have heard me yell…I think the sound carried all the way to fruits and veggies, (we were in a walmart super center)…some of you may have already figured out why I yelled…

Now I am sure the toy has been proven not to hurt anyone in test after product test…

unless…

you neglect to remove the cardboard packaging first…

the angle of descent coupled with the strength and speed of the impending blow and the absolutely perfect allignment with tender forearm flesh….

My daughter bent over to whisper (loud enough for me to hear) into my 2year old grandyboys ear…“Your Grussie is such a Dork…don’t try this at home.”

I didn’t come home with the Nerf sword but I did come home with a lovely 2 inch lump and bright purple bruise…

and lots of ideas….

posted    Report this post
skyrocket's Avatar

I too have been wondering about the safety issues of this LPS. I know the obvious ones like choking hazards and chemicals that could poison or make a kid sick if infested but maybe there some not so obvious hazards. Things you just can’t put in a toy that normal people not in the toy industry might not know. I know that toy companies are held to a higher safety standard since there selling to kids. What I don’t know is what is considered unsafe to use in a toy. I’d like to enter this LPS but I don’t want to get X’ed because I use a material or chemical not allowed in toys. Hopefully someone here will explain a bit more about toy safety or maybe this will be in the Q&A?

posted    Report this post
demersing's Avatargold

I would leave the safety issues to Mattel. I get the impression they want ideas, and don’t mind if they are miles outside of the box. If you worry too much about the next step, and think in terms of how to manufacture, or about safety issues, you’re just handcuffing yourself and assuring yourself a red x at stage 4. If you come up with a great idea, and are fortunate enough to have the giant that is Mattel license from you, let them worry about the nitty gritty. At $20 or $25 a pop, it’s worth throwing a handful of spaghetti against the wall, preferably with a sketch or video, and seeing if one sticks. Have fun with it.

posted    Report this post
inovate's Avataree_badge

Hi Krissie, Nothing needs to be understood that much. Feel the force!

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

Krissie, I agree with Mike. Don’t overthink it. Put your best efforts forward, let them sort them out. Something you may consider a safety issue they may have a solution you have not thought of at the time. I had a toy I thought could be made on 11 parts. After the company looked at it they were able to reduce it down to 7 parts. So, just go with the flow and as Charlie said Feel the force…..be one with the toy. : )

posted    Report this post
chaser323's Avatar

I’m a G3 for Mattel, Ye Haw!!!

posted    Report this post
zabber's Avatar

Got a new game in and it’s pretty solid, I didn’t incorporate any “new compounds” but my 5 year old son came up with most of it…should tell me something about their behavior and what a 5 year old likes! I actually put in an advanced portion of the game for older boys! I wonder if it would help if I put in combat toys into the game?? Roger, do you think they are looking for anything, I read that they are open to everything except summer items….

posted    Report this post
chaser323's Avatar

Zabber, good luck Lady friend, mine just cleared it’s third hurdle. Staying “Green and On the Scene”.

posted    Report this post
zabber's Avatar

Thanks Don, do you have one in this submission?

posted    Report this post
chaser323's Avatar

Why yes “Z”, Yes I do. It’s at G4

posted    Report this post
goodolbakeshop's Avatarname search

Don when you say that it’s at g4, do you mean that you have a green check mark on 4?

Jes curious. Thanks and congrats! Hopefully this IS the one!

posted    Report this post
chaser323's Avatar

No green check in on 3, I think I might be interpreting it right. Anyway I have a check on #3. I won’t be offended if you correct me.

posted    Report this post

First time here? Sign up for a free account or log in