Wholesale toys development is probably the most rewarding and fun sector, so if you want to enter this area, don’t hesitate, fasten your seat belt and have fun in the journey. in this post, we will introduce the 4 important stages of the wholesale toys development process with a focus on “design for fun”.
Bringing new products to market is often a challenging and exciting journey. In particular, kids could like what you offer. Unlike us adults, they don’t have the stereotype of “how it should be,” so it’s easy to accept new ideas into original and existing toy themes. This means that regardless of size, reputation or budget, new and innovative ideas are enough to change the market. Ideas are epoch-making in the wholesale toys development process.
Nurturing Your Toy Idea and Keeping It Simple
A well explained idea is a product half-developed. This means that the more clearly you know what your ideas are, the more effectively and deliberately you can market them.
Can you express your idea in two sentences? If there were more than a few features, it would probably be too much and the user’s attention would not be focused, so they wouldn’t mind anyway.
And if the answer to the above question is “yes”, it might be a good idea to get the toy design out of your head and in front of children. Taking this opportunity, even if you step back, the openness of the experiment to reveal will avoid much pain later.
Trying it out with your own children (or your family’s children) is always the safest way to start this part. Eventually you will have to act with courage to show it to others outside of your inner circle. It’s good news that most of the children are very happy to be asked and participate with enthusiasm and energy.
Growing Your Idea: the 3 Prototyping Stages
The New Product Development (NPD) cycle often takes six months from idea to shipment. That’s why wholesale toys development requires flexible thinking.
To save time, it may be useful to develop an aesthetic vision as well as a functional design. Here, we introduce a prototype when considering wholesale toys development design.
Visual Prototype – The Looks-Like Model
As all product design, the most important thing in the toy market is to have an enticing product that will attract children’s interest in the abundant offline and online toy stores.
Please try to design with 3D CAD first. But don’t spend too much time on details. In many cases, surface datas with basic beauty are enough. This can greatly reduce time and effort. Details can be retained until the design is finalized and approved later in the NPD process.
Functional Prototype – The Works-Like Model
In the toy industry, these functional prototypes are called Works-like model (often written as WL Prototype).
You can make whatever you have at hand – LEGO, Meccano, Card and modeling clay and even more common 3D printing techniques – quickly and cheaply.
Tool Start – LL/WL Model
The next step of wholesale toys development in this prototyping process is naturally to combine the two prototypes into what is commonly referred to LL/WL model or tooling model.
As the name suggests, it is a model that can verify the basic design and start a long process to make a production tool.
This stage involves Design for Manufacture (DFM), so all joints and ribs are specified. At this stage, if you have CAD knowledge, you should perform interference analysis on the CAD data to make sure that all the parts are fit and that there are no troublesome interference that would ruin the first engineering sample.
Delivering Your Toy: 6 Stages on the Road to Production
The wholesale toys development of the technical design generally continues after a series of steps listed below. Each stage is a clsoer step towards achieving a superior product and bringing it to market.
This is the first step that comes out of the mold (e.g., injection molding).
These are very early parts, so don’t worry too much if you put them on your desk in a bag with no (or wrong) color or texture! This is quite normal and part of the rapid evolution of tools.
EP1: Engineering Prototype 1
This is the first time that you will see assembled parts like a favorite vision of a new toy design.
While the chances of getting the right color and finish are small, this is a valuable opportunity to test everything from assembly to product functionality.
At this stage of wholesale toys developement, you can learn the most about the design of the product. And since the tools are probably still in the manufacturer, it is also the easiest time in the wholesale toys development process to refine the design.
EP2: Engineering Prototype 2
This stage is very similar to the EP1, but this time many of the “mistakes” learned in the previous stage have been removed and the result is more refined. You also need to represent the colors correctly, even if the texture or tooling paste has not yet been applied.
At this stage of wholesale toys developement, you should also consider incorporating graphics into your package design and retail box prototypes. The days of massive statement packaging are going if not gone.
Consumers now are focused on sustainability of packaging. So it’s good to strike a balance between size and message. Many people with interesting concepts will come out, so please do your research.
FEP: Final Engineering Prototype
As the name suggests, design defects should be close to zero now, and the factory plans to produce small quantities of goods under production conditions.
Textures and polish will be applied to the tool, as tool changes at this point should be minimal.
PP: Pilot Production
This is the stage when the factory moves to mass production and refines and improves the quality management procedures in the wholesale toys development.
These components are usually used as commercial or marketing samples and are sometimes sold to consumers (subject to approval and certification by external testing institutions).
MP: Mass Production
If you have taken all of the above steps, the risk of unforeseen situations at this stage is significantly reduced. This is especially important for products that appear in stores in November for sale in the Christmas season.
Spreading the Word about your New Toy to Drum up Sales
Now you’re already in production, working hard to build awareness online, and reaching the right retail channel for the targeted season.
However, another interesting aspect of the toy industry is to market products to the big players in the industry. They are always looking for new ideas. Bring your products to the toy fairs in London, Nuremberg, or New York and walk with them around the stands to spark interest. You can open the door and start a conversation even if you visit the stands of big companies like Hasbro, Hattel or Hoose without an appointment.
Since major companies are an important source of new ideas in an industry that is particular about “novelty”, they nurture the “inventor community” by responding to discussions with people from all positions and cherishing people.
Many projects start from specific regions and are later integrated into sales agreements with major companies. Or you can license an idea to apply it to a specific area. But this is not unusual.
Conclusion of Wholesale Toys Devlopment
We have walked through the process of wholesale toys development – starting with production design as the basis of the idea, then refining the game design with focus groups of children, prototyping, and moving to mass production. Hope you’ll find them helpful.