Toy Stories Chapter 25: Crash Racers

by Paul Fish | 30 Oct 2021

Industry Commentary, Op-Ed

Often the simplest concepts are the most fun toys to play with. However, perfect execution is essential. This was a simple and fun concept delayed by lack of attention to important details, but later corrected to become the company's most successful and enduring product! Shout-outs to Ricardo Abundis & Marc Morgan. Toy Stories Chapter 25: Crash Racers!

When starting up a new company, you tend to begin with what you know. We were a couple of ex-Hot Wheels guys, so we created a vehicle line stemming from the popularity of figure 8 racing in the “flyover states.” We knew kids love crashing, so ours was the first motorized car and track system with cars that bust apart when they crash! We created it using the parts from the Hot Wheels NASCAR Daytona 500 set from the 90’s, and added extra curve pieces and 3D-printed an intersection to form figure 8. Problem was that our factory (and owner) reproduced the pieces just as they had been originally, failing to consider that the new shape required steeper curve banking. Even though our Sales SVP Rick Abundis and I had the skills to ensure that the set worked in presentations, when we sent it out to interested partners, the cars invariably self-crashed! Thanks to Marc Morgan, simple adjustments to the entry and exit curves solved the problem and we were back in business the following year. Still, that lost year was a lesson for our factory/owners: Performance Engineering and Samples matter! The original line name was Redneck Racing, but Walmart didn’t like that! Nevertheless, the Walmart Buyer suggested that it could be a nice addition to their own Adventure Force brand. Rick and I pulled together a rebranding presentation in a matter of hours, and the game was afoot! The Crash Racers version shown (still my fave!) sold into Target and Amazon, with a NASCAR-branded set exclusive to Walmart as part of their Adventure Force brand.

ToyStories CrashRacers

Tait & Lily, Inventors of Betcha Can't!