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Finding an agent

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Finding an agent

Post  DBD02 on Wed 21 Dec 2011 - 17:25

I have found that the major toy companies will not talk to inventors. They prefer to have you go though an agent. My question is, How do I go about finding an agent that will really work for me? Do agents get paid up front or do they only get paid if they make the sell?

DBD02

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Join date : 2011-12-21
Location : Billings, Montana

http://www.dartracing.com

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Toy Agent / Broker

Post  Roger Brown on Wed 28 Dec 2011 - 7:54

DBD02, most are listed as Toy Agents, Toy Brokers or licensing agents . Here is a standard overview of what I have encountered. And I know prices, royalties and everything else is different for every Agent/broker and deal, but this at least gives you an idea what to expect. The Toy industry is the most fasinating and frustrating industries I have worked in so far. I have two toys licensed and on the market you can see at http://www.rogerbrown.net . I got mine to market contacting the companies myself.

Most Toy brokers/Agents wanted $125 to $300 per idea to review your concepts. I had 27 toy concepts so I was looking at $3,375 on the low side to get them reviewed. Then, once they were reviewed the Agent/broker would want to have a presentation made for those items they picked from the 27. Lets say they picked 5 out of the 27 to move forward. A proper formatted presentation to fit the target company was around $700 each, so 5 times $700 = $3,500. Now if the agent/broker decided I really needed a prototype made the price could be $1,100 and up. So, using the 5 times $1,100 = $5,500. Now lets say that is all the expense I have in order to be ready for the items to be shown to Wham-O. My grand total is $12,375 for the 5 items.

Now, lets say the Agent gets them in front of Wham-O and they say, nice, but not interested. The agent/broker says well lets try these other companies and you are back to square one, but hopefully no additional charges. If Wham-O says yes to one of the items, negotiations begin. Wham-O used to pay a $5,000 advance, not sure if they still do due to the economy. You and the Agent/broker split the advance either 60/40, 50/50. As I said this is in general terms some brokers ask for less, others more. The same terms apply to whatever royalty agreement the Agent/broker gets for you.

Understand this scenario is based on the Agent/broker reviewing your 27 concepts and picking 5 out of the 27 to move forward. What if the Agent/broker looked at all 27 and did not find any they thought they could represent? You now have to go out and find another Agent/broker and get them to review your 27 concepts all over again. Since this is a new Agent/broker you are again paying a fee per item for the review of all 27.
You tell him which 5 of these items have already been shown to Wham-O and turned down, so they know not to pick those items for that company. So, on the low side you are looking at another $3,375. This reviewer may have the same contacts as the previous reviewer or lets say he has contacts in different companies the other Agent/broker did not have and he likes 8 out of the 27 ideas. You hopefully can use the presentation and prototypes from the first Agent/broker to approach their contacts and the process begins again.

Before approaching any Agent/broker ask about their successes and ask if they deal with the companies you are hoping to target. Some agents/brokers specialize in certain areas,like plush toys or action figures. Don’t assume a agent/broker covers the entire industry.
Mattel and others may not look at items unless they are presented by certain agents/brokers. At one time Mattel sent me a list of 5 agents/brokers they preferred you use. I don’t know if that is still the case. Having dealt with companies in other markets that I licensed my items to I contacted the companies in the toy industry I wanted to target, myself.
I found that I did not need a lot of the things I was told were needed to get your foot in the door. I licensed two toys to one company and licensed another to Wham-O. I am still pitching toys to varioous companies and have a couple on review. So, I am at the hurry up and wait phase right now.
There are a number of Inventor Friendly companies you can approach yourself using a NDA (nondisclosure) you will have to do research to find which ones in your toys market, plush, action figure, outdoor, etc. It takes some research and cold calling of companies but it can be done. Here is a short list to get you started.

Jakks Pacific Inc.
www.jakkspacific.com/

Spin Master Ltd.
www.spinmaster.com/

Wild Planet Entertainment Inc.
www.wildplanet.com/index.php

Yomega Corp.
www.yomega.com/contact/index.htm

Flambeau Inc.
www.flambeau.com/

Fundex Games
www.fundexgames.com/

Hog Wild Toys
www.hogwildtoys.com/

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Roger Brown

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Join date : 2011-02-20
Location : South Carolina

http://www.rogerbrown.net    http://www.looking2license.com

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