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FAQ: Who are the good toy agents?

Postby recrem » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:49 am

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hello again!
a few weeks back I asked a question about toy agents, who are the good ones, etc. I basically got no response...I would LOVE some help on this. Who are the good toy agents, does anyone know??? please help!!
recrem :lol:

Postby minnesotainventor » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:36 am

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Toy Agents?

What would you want the Toy Agent to do for you?

I lost big time using one (a firm) that looked very credible and lost millions. What is your goal in using a toy agent?

I have a few that I know and trust...have you approached companies yourself? Is your concept already prototyped ready for presentation? Protected?

Steve Stark
Wham-O EZ SPIN Foam Frisbee Disc Inventor


toy agents?

Postby recrem » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:02 pm

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thank you for your reply! Much appreciated....I have several prototypes of new toys, and several more in the pipeline.
I'm thinking that I would rather spend my time inventing than selling, and would be more than happy to split any proceeds with a good agent. I believe I will have enough marketable products to warrant this kind of relationship.
As far as what I would like him to do; basically to be straight with me about the marketability of the prototypes I send him, present them to companies, and give me feedback whenever he gets any. And although I'm new to toy inventing, it's pretty clear that there is a huge sea of sharks out there....that's why I would be so grateful for a useful recommendation from someone experienced....like yourself!!
again, thanks for your time and advice

Re: FAQ: Who are the good toy agents?

Postby ProfVonForster » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:29 pm

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Hi, just a quick response for an older question / post. I have had an excellent personal experience with Mary Ellroy (Gamebird.biz). She is kind, very smart- and did everything she said she would PLUS a great deal more. Always responds quickly- and spent a great deal of time with me on the phone and email correspondence. I recommend and trust her completely. She MAY charge an up-front small fee (please check with her; I'm not sure the current details.) Her credentials are good and extensive- and she worked very hard in presenting an idea of mine a few years ago to some of the major manufacturers. The feedback I got was very valuable! I would certainly use her again for anything toy / game related. She'll "give it to you straight"- and is easy to work with. As with any agent, always communicate as clearly as possible as to what you need / what they can do for you. Good luck to all of us!
-Prof Von Forster

Re: FAQ: Who are the good toy agents?

Postby jackbnimble56 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:14 pm

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That's probably a good question for Roger Brown. He's licensed several toys now...

Nimble Jack Enterprises - Innovative Solutions to Everyday Problems
To purchase the Magic Toob product visit: http://www.magictoob.com/

Re: FAQ: Who are the good toy agents?

Postby Roger Brown » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:22 am

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Unfortunately, I don't have an answer you would like. I have not used a Toy Broker/Agent to get my toys licensed. I contacted several when I first got started in the toy industry and after talking with them and understanding how much out of pocket money I was looking at decided I was not going to use them.
Here is a standard overview of what I encountered. And I know prices, royalties and everything else is different for every Agent/broker and deal.

Most wanted $125 to $300 per idea to review your concepts. I had 27 toy concepts so I was looking at $3,375 on the low side to get them reviewed.
Then, once they were reviewed the Agent/broker would want to have a presentation made for those items they picked from the 27. lets say they picked 5 to move forward. A proper formatted presentation to fit the target company was around $700 each, so 5 times $700 = $3,500. Now if the agent/broker decided I really needed a prototype made the price could be $1,100 and up. So, using the 5 times $1,100 = $5,500.
Now lets say that is all the expense I have in order to be ready for the items to be shown to Wham-O. My grand total is $12,375 for the 5 items.

Now, lets say the Agent gets them in front of Wham-O and they say, nice, but not interested. The agent/broker says well lets try these other companies and you are back to square one, but hopefully no additional charges.
Now, if Wham-O says yes to one of the items negotiations begin. Wham-O used to pay a $5,000 advance, not sure if they still do due to the economy.
You and the Agent/broker split the advance either 60/40, 50/50. As I said this is in general terms some brokers ask for less, others more.
The same terms apply to whatever royalty agreement the Agent/broker gets for you.

Understand this scenario is based on the Agent/broker reviewing your 27 concepts and picking 5 out of the 27 to move forward. What if the Agent/broker looked at all 27 and did not find any they thought they could represent? You now have to go out and find another Agent/broker and get them to review your 27 concepts all over again. Since this is a new Agent/broker you are again paying a fee per item for the review of all 27.
You tell him which 5 of these items have already been shown to Wham-O and turned down, so they know not to pick those items for that company.
So, on the low side you are looking at another $3,375. This reviewer may have the same contacts as the previous reviewer or lets say he has contacts in different companies the other Agent/broker did not have and he likes 8 out of the 27 ideas. You hopefully can use the presentation and prototypes from the first Agent/broker to approach their contacts and the process begins again.

Before approaching any Agent/broker ask about their successes and ask if they deal with the companies you are hoping to target. Some agents/brokers specialize in certain areas,like plush toys or action figures. Don't assume a agent/broker covers the entire industry.
Mattel and others may not look at items unless they are presented by certain agents/brokers. At one time Mattel sent me a list of agents/brokers they preferred you use. I don’t know if that is still the case.
Having dealt with companies in other markets that I licensed my items to I contacted the companies in the toy industry I wanted to target myself.
I found that I did not need a lot of the things I was told were needed to get our foot in the door. I licensed two toys to one company and licensed another to Wham-O. I am still pitching toys to these companies and have a couple on review. So, I am at the hurry up and wait phase right now.
Come visit my sites at http://www.RogerBrown.net
or http://www.looking2license.com
I have gotten 9 products licensed spending less than $100 on each, you can too.