by Paul Fish | 03 Aug 2021
Industry Commentary, Op-Ed
We often wrack our brains trying to create a great toy for great license, but sometimes the great toy is just waiting for the right license. This is a tale of one toy, two companies and two brands. Shout out to Steven Fink, Mike Hoeting and the team at Bang Zoom Design! Toy Stories Chapter 18: Monsters University Scare-Off Sulley!
This toy was the perfect matching of an inventor concept (from Bang Zoom) with the essence of the property. Initially, it was actually designed to be a roaring Shrek in Shrek 4 when I was at Playmates. It was a great fit there, but retailers weren’t keen on the price point. Plus, let’s face it, Shrek was a great entertainment franchise, but it never moved toys, and as my friend Mark Sullivan mockingly said, “well, the 4th time’s the charm....” So, when Spin Master pitched for the Monsters University license, I remembered the item and thought it would be a great fit for Sulley. I asked Steve Fink for the model, but instead, they created a whole new version in the form of Sulley, and we won the business! Interactive Scare-Off Sulley roared and made a scary face upon activation.
So, this one inventor toy concept helped two companies win two different entertainment licenses! Now THAT is innovation! Bang Zoom rules!