Industry Pros to Learn From: Richard Levy and Ron Weingartner

Ron Weingartner, a true veteran of the toy and game industry having spent 40 years working with toys and games (27 of them at Milton Bradley/Hasbro), writes a blog called “Toy Dreamers.”  He doesn’t write often but when he does it’s worth the time to read.  The other thing of his to read is the Toy and Game Inventor’s Handbook, which he co-authored with Richard Levy.

In Ron’s latest post he briefly talks about meeting up with Richard, and points to a couple good interviews of Richard at Toy Fair.  Here’s the one from 2016:

Toy and game inventors handbookI really enjoyed from the video was Richard saying that he has “many more scars than medals” when discussing success as an inventor.  I think that’s the one thing that always surprises people about the toy/game invention industry.  Yes, we have “the coolest” jobs — but it comes with a lot of rejection and failure.  Richard points to the story of WD-40 and how it was the 40th attempt at a water displacement product.  It’s a great anecdote and is so similar to what we do.  We try and try again, and try again, and hope that something sticks and if we’re really lucky it becomes a classic.

You can also watch a 2015 interview with Richard’s on YouTube.  And if you’re an aspiring or new-to-the-industry inventor I highly recommend reading Richard and Ron’s book — if you don’t have a kindle, you can find a paperback edition on Amazon of the the book from 2003 and a lot of the stuff will be the same.  I have both editions and they get 5 stars from me for having a ton of knowledge and some great stories about the industry.  (Note: I’m in the third edition but I’m not getting paid for my endorsement.)