Patch Products is located in Beloit, Wisconsin, which for those of you who don’t know your Wisconsin geography, is smack dab in the middle of the state at the bottom, just north of the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Fran and Bryce Patch started it as a printing company back in the early 1970s making games for other companies. Patch Products was formed in the mid-1980s and they started creating their own products. Since then they’ve seen successes like Buzzword , Buzzword Jr., and Toss-Up in addition to many other household names.
To give us a little more insight into the company, Lisa Wuennemann, their Inventor Relations Representative, was nice enough to answer a couple question for me about what it’s like doing her job:
I have been working with professional and novice inventors for Patch since 2007. My favorite game developed by an outside inventor is 5 Second Rule (REVIEW) by Michael Sistrunk. 5 Second Rule is easy to play and includes a really unique 5-second timer.
2. You meet with lots of professional inventors throughout the year and I’m sure some meetings go smoother than others. What tips can you give to aspiring inventors about pitching products?
I love working with inventors, especially the new ones trying to get a great idea placed in the toy and game industry. I recommend aspiring inventors research the company they are pitching and the retailers they feel their product would be sold at.
3. I preach to new inventors that they don’t need to spend a ton of money on their prototypes; how important is a fully-finished model to Patch?
Agreed! To evaluate a game idea we simply need a functioning prototype with rules. We need to be able to play the game so we can see how players interact and how the game ends.
4. Patch just recently licensed The Game of Things, which has been with Hasbro in the past. I’ve talked before how great games don’t die, they just move to another company when the time is right. What are your thoughts on this?
We agree The Game of Things is a great game that has a long future ahead of it. We are excited to be offering it to our retailers and playing it with our party-game loving fans.
Chain Letters is one of those games that when we saw it we said, “how come no one has created this game before?” Word games are a staple for the game industry but adding letters on a hook for action makes this game truly unique.
6. When you were a kid what was your favorite toy or game?
I loved Monopoly and can still remember the first time I beat the adults!
Thanks Lisa! And if you’d like to find out more about Patch Products and any of their games go to: PatchProducts.com. UPDATE: Since this was published Patch Products has become Play Monster, but Lisa is still there!