Interviewing WowWee Toys

Sometimes, it’s kind of hard to get the answers one is looking for. My e-mail was met with silence, and a follow up phone call was rather rushed. I learned that getting your foot in the door can be kind of tough, and that your idea is judged faster than you can ask questions relating to its development. WowWee did explain that starting and running a niche toy company is very difficult and reinforced the necessity for refinement before pitching to the companies which control the shelf space across the country.

Questions:

We are very interested in learning about the process and hardships of running a successful tech toy company. Any stories or advice you have will be great learning tools for us. Don’t worry about answering these questions formally. I just wanted to give you an idea of the types of questions we’ve been considering on our end. Looking forward to chatting soon.

1. What was your strategy to reach economics of scale in manufacturing and how did you manage your costs early on?

2. How did you find your manufacturing partners?  What are some things to keep in mind when looking for a manufacturer?

3. Which retailers/distribution channels would carry our product and how do we start building relationships with those retailers?

4. How did you handle testing and quality assurance for your products?

5. We’re hoping to eventually price Blogicks similarly to the Lego Mindstorms product. However, we are targeting the parents of younger children rather than teens and adults. Are expensive toys for younger children a viable option? Based on your experience with WowWee, where would you recommend pricing Blogicks?

6. In your experience, what kind of margins are necessary on the production costs of a tech toy in order for it to be a worthwhile venture?

7. Blogicks is made up of a number of smart blocks, and central building mat. What would the estimated injection molding tooling/manufacturing costs be for such a product?

8. How are toy sales being affected by the U.S./global economy? Are toy sales affected more so than sales of other products?  Are expensive toys affected more or less than regularly priced toys?

9. What are some challenges you have faced while running WowWee?


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