Day 116

Spent some time this week thinking about how we’d approach the development of the pretend dog food and pretend dog bone for our line of dogs. Plastics toy development is an entirely new world. I’m in over my head at the moment. Wow.I started calling plastics manufacturers to learn. Spoke with Vanguard Plastics, a local plastics manufacturer, here in Connecticut. Learned about them via a local toy company – Luke’s Toys – that uses them I believe. Seemed like a friendly and welcoming company. Hope I can work with them. Here are some things I learned:

  • With plastics manufacturing, you need to first invest in and develop steel molds, which will be used to form the plastic parts – your plastic toy unit costs will be low, but your initial steel molds can be expensive
  • If we send them a CAD file (a 3D file typically created by an industrial engineer), they can quote us the cost for the steel molds in about a week (I didn’t know what CAD files were prior to today …). The complexity of the mold will determine the cost of the mold.
  • After quotes are approved, it takes about 10 weeks to produce the mold. Their molds are manufactured in Korea by a family owned business. Molding costs for 1 piece will probably range between $8,000-$12,000. Wow. After molds are made, there is a process of ‘de-bugging’ (Errr, I don’t remember what de-bugging means).

So, …. I also made a point to find a 3D industrial toy designer. After some research, I figured out I could find this kind of talent on this site called Coroflot. I have used various sites for finding different types of talent. I don’t like Coroflot for finding illustrators. But, it seems like the spot for finding industrial designers.

Found, spoke to, and hopefully will start working with a 3D toy designer in San Francisco by the name of “CB”. Spoke to a second designer who is local – but he was not coming from a background in toy development – which I think is important with toy safety concerns. Next step, we’ll move onto signing an NDA, a short contract, and the development of CAD files.