How did you begin inventing toys and games?
I came into this fun business by meeting some wonderful toy people, Laurie and Maureen Trotto. I happened to write a charming song for kids called "Little By Little". I played it for someone who thought the song could be incorporated into a toy and he made an introduction to the Trotto's. Here's a link to the video:
What do you like about toys and games?
My favorite part is engaging in the challenge of coming up with new ideas....something fresh. It's hard to be original but rewarding. My second favorite part is collaborating with talented people to bring the idea to life.
What are the favorite toys and games that you've invented?
I have 2 favorites: One is a game that's on the market now and doing very well called BrainBolt. Here's a link to it on Amazon: BrainBolt on Amazon: 3,401 Reviews!
The second is a game that was out with ThinkFun called Toot and Otto. It won the Oppenheim Gold Award:
Toot and Otto wins Oppenheim Gold Award! It's not currently on the market but I'd love to see it brought back. (Hint to any manufacturers reading this!)
What's the story behind BrainBolt?
The original idea originated when I happened to be thinking about memory games. Somehow this idea just popped into my head. I play-tested it by using coins and asking my wife to open and close her eyes. Voila! It worked!
I had an electronic prototype made and licensed it to a British company.
It did very well; they did several versions of it and it ran its course. I always believed in it and felt it deserved another shot. A while later, I introduced myself to Richard Levy on the sidewalks of New York City. Richard fell in love with the game and got it licensed to Educational Insights. We've also licensed it to Schmidt Spiele for Germany and France.
It seems like you're more of an idea guy. How do you go from idea to prototype?
That's correct....I'm more of an idea person than a hands-on builder.
I partner with incredibly gifted people who are industrial designers, graphic artists, or electronic pros. Sometimes this partnership is a work-for-hire-situation (in which case I'm the sole inventor) and sometimes they become co-inventors with me.
What's happening for you now?
Most recently, I've licensed games to Winning Moves, The Canadian Group and Cheatwell Games in the UK. I have games coming out with John Adams and Piatnik in 2022.
Any final words?
I'm always looking for new exciting partnerships so my door is open for dialogue anytime: BradfordWRoss@gmail.com
Finally, I'm grateful to all the people I've met in this industry both on the inventing side and on the company side. I find everyone to be talented, smart and sincerely in love with new exciting concepts.
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