Today I found help, help in the form of professional organizations. The problem is I am trying to produce a professional game, and when I use the word produce I mean manufacture. The concept for the game is complete thanks to Mr. Boeddeker who developed the game. The rest of the process needed to sell the product everywhere is not complete. That is my responsibility. Take an idea and make it a product. But before you get there you need to make sure people want to buy it, if they don’t then I am also charged with designing it so people do want it.
Today Debra pointed out that after our review of the industry yesterday (including a field trip to review existing packaging and products from other companies) that this is a mature industry. That means that a lot of people have been down the toy and game manufacturing process before us. There are clearly a lot of mistakes to be made. We decided to seek expert advice from some of the experts in this field.
After I began my search for game manufacturers and companies I quickly realized that I was going to need a NAICS code to figure out what I needed to be looking for. For those of you who don’t know NAICS stands for North American Industry Classification System. It is a pretty standard classification system and is widely accepted and implemented among businesses. For example all bar codes are issued using the NAICS code of the product to be coded for. The important point here is that for the product Who’s Counting™ which is a game the NAICS code is 339932. This number means that games and toys are lumped into the same category. It also tells me that the category includes both children’s and adult games. The category also includes children’s vehicles such as toy trucks, but not bicycles or tricycles. Dolls are also not included in this category. That is a lot of information hidden in a six digit number, but not nearly what is available. this NAICS allows me to look at the entire toy industry from a birds eye view. From this I also know that in 1997 there were 780 establishments in this industry in the U.S. and only 26 of those were in Colorado. I also know that it was a 4.5 billion dollar industry in 1997.
The important thing I took away from this was that I needed to start looking at toy associations not game associations (outside of video games they don’t exist). As soon as I started looking for toy associations I found what I was looking for. TIA, or Toy Industry Association had a plethora of information about the toy industry and manufacturing processes associated with toys and games. I hope to reach out to them and some of their members shortly for advice and hopefully someone who can tell me what to watch out for as we move forward in this endeavor