I have gotten a few emails over the last couple weeks which basically say.
I have been traveling like crazy.
As Sr. Product Engineer for Innovation First Labs, I am part of all aspects of Toy development. As part of that responsibility I need to be at our manufacturers in china many times each year. There are many reasons to be on the ground in asia, such as work closely with the factories to help us to cost engineer product down, when doing a full release of data for tooling, viewing and modifying first shots off of tooling, or to just oversee production lines are running smoothly.
As IFI’s toy business has grown so has the time required to interface with china operations, and in most cases being here face to face is a much more effective communication method than to skype or email.
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of announcing our new product line “Bobble Bots.” Bobble bots are a product which uses the characters from a fantastic online game called Moshi Monsters. They move around like Hexbug Nano’s but have a personality all their own. This line will be in stores in a couple weeks in the US and world wide over the next month or so, so the factories are buzzing getting ready. Additionally I was working on some new “Top Secret” products which will be on shelf for the fall of 2012.
After my 2 week trip in china, I spent 5 days at the New York Toy Show, where we were showing retailers both our new products which we were launching and some previews of the stuff coming up. It is a great opportunity for the toy industry to showcase what they have been working on and also to judge where toys are heading. If you want to check out some of the cool new toys coming for this holiday season, i recommend looking at http://www.thetoyspy.com/ as he does coverage from most companies at the event and is also a really nice guy.
For now I am back in the office, but my travel schedule hasn’t slowed down much. Hopefully I will be able to keep you posted along the way.
To all of those teams scrambling to finish their robots, don’t forget to breath. Take a step back, make a list of the things you still need to do and make sure you have what you need to continue the improvements on the way to your first event. Good Luck.