January 15, 2019 | Toy News Tuesday sat down with Brett Klisch, owner/creative director of Peru Meridian Studios, who worked in partnership with The Toy Association to launch Toy Fair New York’s Creative Factor educational series in 2003 and has been instrumental in supporting and growing the program through the years, to learn more about Creative Factor’s expansion at the upcoming show. Here’s what he had to say:
What was the impetus behind expanding Toy Fair’s Creative Factor programming?
BK: We felt there was a need to offer more specific guidance and information to the growing and ever-important inventor/designer group, and to identify budding talent, who may have a great idea but do not know how to get started in toy design or have a working prototype but do not know how to pitch to buyers. Our new Advisory Board, comprised of veteran experts on entrepreneurism, design, and innovation, has been immeasurable in updating and refreshing this year’s programming.
Can you share some of the session topics that will be available to inventor/designer attendees during the show?
BK: Attendees will be privy to roughly two dozen sessions throughout the four days of the show. These sessions will be specifically focused on issues, trends, and important topics for inventors, designers, and others in the creative community. Topics include: how to build your brand’s narrative, tips on out-of-the-box distribution, how inventors/designers can make the gig economy for toys work for them, 3D modeling for toy design, a play innovation panel, how the integration of AI, robotics, VR, and AR is driving innovation in the toy space, and how to protect your IP. All Creative Factor programming and experiences are included with Toy Fair registration credentials.
As part of the new Creative Factor programming, Toy Fair is hosting an inaugural CF@TF Inventor Day on Friday, February 15, the day before the show opens. Can you share what’s happening CF@TF Inventor Day and why the event is important?
BK: At CF@TF Inventor Day, a select number of inventors will pitch their ideas to influential toy and youth entertainment professionals and potential manufacturing partners. While the initial review and selection of submissions has been done by the Creative Factor Advisory Board, we are encouraging toy manufacturers and licensors to come through the presentation area in room 1A03 to view innovative products, designs, and prototypes; meet the designers; and hopefully move the conversation forward.
Toy Fair has long been a hub of innovation and creativity and now we are able to offer member companies and exhibitors another avenue to discover their next big seller.
Any final thoughts?
BK: Inventors and designers are the lifeblood of the toy industry since it is their creation of unique playthings that will inspire the next generation of children. It is paramount that we – as an industry – cultivate and support the next generation of toy design and Toy Fair New York is the perfect platform to do that.
For more information about CF&TF Inventor Day, contact Marian Bossard, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association. Read more of our interview with Brett Klisch in the upcoming Toy Fair Times Locator Guide, distributed only at Toy Fair. Visit ToyFairNY.com or download the Toy Fair app to learn more about Creative Factor educational programming.