The first thing I think you should do when inventing a custom stuffed toy is to identify: "Who is my perfect customer? Where am I going to sell this toy and how will I contact those who would want to buy my toy?" This is important and at the early stages can shape your decisions throughout the evolution of your toy.
If you can't answer those questions, then in my opinion you should focus on that before you proceed further. I have some guides that can help you answer that question and get you started off on the right foot.
After you have completed answering those fundamental questions, the Step by Step here will focus on how to choose and use a stuffed toy manufacturer.
It can be confusing, when thinking about how to get started. Your best bet is to do the research you can, make careful notes and then make a decision. Choose a direction and go with it. I get many calls from inventors who I spoke to many years ago and they are no further ahead today. Doing something, is often better then doing nothing at all.
In contrast to this, I have clients I first spoke to 4 months ago and they are now selling their custom toys on their own website and planning their next steps. New designs, partnerships with other businesses and ordering more toys.
Being careful is smart because there can be pitfalls out there but if you can find the right guidance, your toy can be a success.
Part of your research should be to get a Quote from my website. I include a lot of information in your quote and I'll continue to send you important information that is critical to your success. To get a quote you'll want to think about the height of the toy in inches (the longest length),
When you choose a direction, it is time to select what company you are going to work with. Try not to select your manufacturer simply based on price. There are many other factors that will cost you money, but may not have been included in your quote. When you select my company to design and make your toy, you'll need to select a Service Level.
The Service Level is simply a selection of how much help you need now, and how quickly you want to jump in to selling your toy idea.
The Service Level you select will get you a black and white sketch, a color sketch, revisions, a prototype and photo edits to your prototype. You'll get a very real indication of how your toy will look when it is altered and manufactured in production.
*please note - Your prototype deposit gets you one prototype, and then I will show you changes to your prototype in a photo edit ( an altered photo on computer) If you require additional prototypes to show changes, then additional costs will apply. You should consider an intitial order of 900 - 3,600 pieces as a sample order and subsequent orders can include new changes.
When you're happy with your prototype and approve the changes, I can confirm the exact price. Normally it's very close to your ballpark quote. Then it's time to start production of your toy. Whether you're ordering 900 - 9,000 - or 90,000 toys, you'll get the same treatment and great quality service. You'll be kept up to date on a week by week basis letting you know where in the process you are.
Safety testing is performed to confirm that the toy passes required safety standards for your country.
Production will be started after you approve a production sample (if changes were required) and after safety testing is completed. Please know that if there are additional changes to your production sample, then that will add weeks to your timeline.
With the production sample approved, safety testing complete, and production well underway, all that you and I can do at this point is wait until we're ready to ship out from my factory.
I will confirm the ship date of your toys, and your exact delivery address. I use an International Logistics company that will use the most economical and efficient way to get your toys to your doorstep. Your toys will travel by boat, train, truck and arrive at the requested location. Please know that will common carriers it's very difficult to pinpoint the exact day and time the goods will arrive. Most common carriers will not ship to residential addresses, but many of my Inventor clients require this. I could use UPS or some other deliver service that will allow you to 'track' your shipment but that would cost 3 to 4 times the cost of my shipping method.
I'll get the goods delivered and by then you would be working on selling your toys. Whether it is by selling your toys online or in traditional retail stores, I can deliver a great toy, great advice, and a quality service to make it a great experience for you.