Dave Yearick: Was the invention of COW PIE CATAPULTS influenced by Saturday mornings years ago wrestling and de-horning cows?

by The Good Game Company | 16 Nov 2023

Biographies and Interviews


Hey Dave! We've known one another long time.. even before you were an OG at our Chicago Toy and Game Fair 21 years ago! Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?


On a whim, two college buddies and I invented and self-produced a game called TriBond. We introduced it at New York Toy Fair in 1990. (Shout-out to Tim and Ed!)



What came after this for you in the industry?


During my TriBond experience, I learned that the industry looks to freelance inventors for new ideas. My first of many game pitches (and rejections) was with Ron Weingartner at Milton Bradly. After he said he was passing on the two game concepts I brought to East Longmeadow, MA, we shared some Cokes in the cafeteria and his advice to me was to stay at it as he thought I had what it took. (Shout-out to RonW!)



Then in 2009, I started Moonracer Industries to begin the self-production of my inventions.


Interesting. What was the reason for this, and, is there a backstory to the meaning of the name Moonracer Industries?


As a matter of fact, there is!


One of the main reasons I started self-producing my inventions was that many (most) of my submitted concepts were passed on, and the ones that were licensed failed to stay alive longer than a year.


One evening in December, I was watching the Christmas special, “Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer.” I had seen this show many times prior, but that night I was uniquely relating to the “passed on” misfit toys, such as the squirt gun that shoots jelly - I mean how cool is that? I became further intrigued when I realized that the winged lion who watched over all of the rejects was named King Moonracer. That’s when I thought to myself, “Hey, I feel like I am King Moonracer, the overseer of very cool, yet rejected toys!” :)



What were the first products you self-produced?


In 2009, I launched an outdoor sport-toy line called Djubi. The first item in the line was Slingball, inspired by my oldest son, Thor.


Thor was a wild and fun kid who loved to be outside being very active. One day when I asked him if he wanted to play catch (with the traditional baseball and gloves) he said- “no thanks”. When I pressed him as to why, he said he thought it boring. From that moment I was inspired to create a new way to “play catch”, so my boy would play with me.


It was not long until I had attached his slingshot to the butt-end of his mini lacrosse stick and that was the beginning of what ultimately evolved into what is now Slingball!





Many people ask where the name “Djubi” comes from… there is a story behind this as well. If curious you can read about it on my website in the FAQs. www.djubi.com

Then, in 2020, at New York Toy Fair, I officially launched The Good Game Company, showcasing seven of my game titles. This year at Toy Fair, the line has grown to 19.






So, are you completely out “freelance inventing”?


Well, yes, in the traditional sense I am not pitching unproven ideas any longer. My model for bringing inventions to market is to invest in the design and creation of ideas and prove them successful as real products in marketplace. If through these initiatives a product’s level of success intrigues another company enough to be interested in licensing or acquiring an item, then this is a possibility.



What advice can you give to new inventors just starting out in the industry?


My advice… do your homework! Study the marketplace and know your competition. Has it been tried before? Is it original enough? Is it easily relatable? I like to go by a simple rule: great new items should be very UNIQUE yet easily UNDERSTOOD.


And then without a doubt you need to have thick skin and patience, and believe in yourself! Djubi Slingball was passed on 28 times, yet since I started producing it it’s been a steady seller every year.


Fun fact! While I was recently in the Chicago area for CHITAG/POP, I visited the Lake Zurich Learning Express store. It was such a thrill to have owner Rick Derr tell me that Djubi has been and continues to be his #1 selling outdoor toy. (Shout-out to Rick Derr!)




Another similar story of perseverance with an idea, which is relevant since we just held a tournament during Chicago Toy and Game Fair, is COW PIE CATAPULTS. This game was rejected for licensing 16 times and is now one of my best-selling games.






Equally important, my advice to anyone new to the business is to embrace the fact that this industry is made up of a family of people like no other. While we all are competing for the same shelf space, your competitors are your biggest supporters and friends!



What is the worst job you’ve ever had and what did you learn from it?


Well, I wouldn’t say it was ‘the worst job’, because it was a good time, but certainly an odd one. While in high school, my football coach and I traveled from farm to farm to de-horn cattle (cutting off horns for the safety of other cows and farmers). There was a lot of cow wrestling and cow manure. (Shout-out to Coach Leahy).




I guess the lesson here is that you just never know what your experiences will translate to later in life, or as a toy inventor what will inspire your ideas…. maybe the invention of COW PIE CATAPULTS was influenced by those Saturdays wrestling cows?!?


What was your favorite toys or games as a child?


  • Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle
  • Battleship
  • Lite Brite


What was your life like growing up?


As a family we lived in many places around the world. I had (and still have) great and highly supportive mom and dad. I am the youngest of 3 brothers which caused me to be a tad bit overly competitive with a tad bit of a need to be the center of attention. (Shout out to Dan and Don!)



What’s your workspace setup like?


My warehouse and office are in a very old converted textile mill in Greenville, SC. If you’re in the area stop by and say hi!



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