Toy & Game ideas
-PlayMonster receives over 300 game/toy idea submissions per year! That's a lot of games to review and try playing!
-The submissions come from a wide variety of sources. Independent inventors can be anyone from teachers to families, to lawyers to scuba divers. A good idea can come from anyone!
-Submissions also come from professional inventor groups. These can be people well-established in the toy industry or companies that specialize in selling game ideas.
-Did you know that there is a degree in toy design offered at two institutions: Fashion Institute of Technology and Otis College of Art and Design? Talk about a degree in fun!
-Besides submissions from independent inventors and professional inventor groups, PlayMonster also develops ideas internally...we like being creative, too!
-Do you have an idea? To get started, visit the Toy Associations Toy Inventor & Design Guide.
How an Idea Becomes a PlayMonster Game
1. Game ideas come in and go through a few reviews to pick out the ones that we think are good and would fit well with the PlayMonster line.
2. Prototypes (rough or original models of the games) are then put through play testing. People come in and play the games, providing feedback once they are done. We also watch them play and make notes of our own observations.
3. If games do well in play testing, they go through another review, where the feedback and observations are discussed and possible changes and improvements are made to the games.
4. The details are then decided and implemented. What will the game name be? What will the board/cards/pawns look like? What colors will we use? What will the packaging look like? What age group is this for? And so on.
5. A more finished prototype is then reviewed and discussed, making sure all the details are perfect.
6. Generally, a new game is first seen in our catalog in January, and then shown to retailers, media and more at the New York Toy Fair in February. Then, hopefully you will see it in stores a few months later!
-The exact date of the first sock monkey appearance is debatable, but the first “official” sock monkey can be traced back to the Nelson Knitting Mills (now Fox River Mills) and their Red Heel socks made in Rockford, Illinois starting in 1932. Crafty customers began making monkey dolls out of the socks, and in 1951 the company started including directions on how to make monkeys out of the socks!
-There’s an annual Sock Monkey Madness festival in Rockford to celebrate this iconic doll!
-Sock monkeys are so popular and familiar, that they make frequent appearances. Here are just a few: KIA Super Bowl commercial, Batman Returns movie, Dilbert comic, Academy Awards show (1995, hosted by David Letterman), Pier 1 Imports commercial.
-Now, PlayMonster has taken the classic sock monkey and added attitude to create the Planet Sock Monkey™ collectible soft doll line!
-PlayMonster has sold over 109 million puzzles. That's over 1.73 billion puzzle pieces
-If you tried to assemble all 109 million PlayMonster puzzles and averaged 1 minute per puzzle (which would be really fast),
it would take you over 207 years!
-If you lay all the PlayMonster puzzles end to end, they would reach over 97.2% of the way around the world. (That's over
24,127 miles long!)
-You could fill 77 large backyard pools with the amount of glue used to make all of the puzzles PlayMonster has sold.
-The puzzles laid end to end would cross 424,635 football fields!
-Stacking all of the puzzle pieces on top of one another would create a stack almost 8 times higher than the space shuttle orbits.
-The addictive and challenging game Buzzword® has sold over one million copies!
-If you filled semi trailers top to bottom with all the Buzzwords sold, they would fill 77 semis. If those semis
were driving down the road, they would line up end to end for over a mile!
-The weight of all the Buzzwords would equal the weight of over 5 million iPhones!
-If you stacked the Buzzword boxes on top of one another, they'd reach 39 miles high. That's far past the tallest building, past the
clouds and past the protective ozone layer!
-The Original Wooly Willy® contains 7 grams of magnetic powder each, and Wooly Willy has sold over 75 million copies
in its nearly 55 years of existence. That’s over 1,159,300 pounds of powder!
-The magnetic powder in The Original Wooly Willy is made of iron. The very first Wooly Willy magnetic powder came
from scrap magnetic shavings swept off the floor of the Smethport™ facility where magnetic games and
activities were made. Over the years, the iron has come from different sources, and today’s iron comes
from slag (leftover residue) in mines across the United States.
-The amount of magnetic powder used in these Wooly Willys is equal to the weight of about 77 elephants!
-If you were going on a plane trip and each suitcase could only weigh 50 pounds, you would need over 23,180 suitcases to hold all
of the Wooly Willy powder—that’s a lot of luggage!
-What is a “die”?
Dice is the plural form of the word. Use the word “die” when referring to just one.
-The numbers add up?
On a standard 6-sided cube die, opposite sides always add up to 7! On the opposite side of the 5 is the 2, on the opposite side of the 6 is the 1, and so on. That’s why when you roll two dice, you are more likely to get a combination adding up to 7 than any other number: a 16.67% chance!
-Think outside the box (cube)
Dice can be other shapes besides cubes, and therefore have more sides than 6. They can even be cylinders. The cube (6 sides) is the most common shape, though.
-They’re how old?
Experts believe dice have been around for over 4,000 years! They have been made out of materials such as bone (hence the game known as “knucklebones”—an early form of a dice game), ivory and wood. Today dice are mostly made from types of plastic, such as melamine and urea. Melamine and urea are thermosetting plastics or resins. You may be familiar with melamine if you own the durable, popular dishes made of it!
-Pip my dice!
The dots on a die are called pips. You are probably used to the Western style of cube dice, with pips all being equal in size and color. Asian dice have a larger dot for the 1, and it is red. The pips for the 2 are closer and parallel with the side of the die instead of diagonal, and the 4 pips are red. It is believed that the red color is for luck.
-Righty or lefty?
Dice can be right-handed or left-handed! You know by whether the 1, 2 and 3 run clockwise or counterclockwise. Western dice generally run counterclockwise to be right-handed.
-Use them this way or that
In games, dice can be used as a randomizer, like rolling to see which card to draw or how many spaces to move. Dice are also fun enough to be the whole game! Some popular dice games are Farkle, Yahtzee, Liar’s Dice and Bunco.
Not only are dice fun, but they can be used as a learning tool! Check out our lesson plan here.