Co-Founders of learning toy company Click-A-Brick Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza say they find inspiration in a recent blog post about toy industry leader Bob Wann, who says he easily gets bored with the status quo and prefers to try to new things, encourage growth, and always feel comfortable with the uncomfortable.
The Huffington Post Blog post, written by Stacey Alcorn, paints Wann as an adventurer who worked his way up the toy industry ladder working for major brands before becoming head of a smaller toy company that is always embracing change. Alcorn says that Wann considers change to represent growth while the status quo represents death. What’s most inspiring about what Wann has to say, though, is that he considers it his job to inspire quality playtime in families and get them to laugh and play together.
The team at Click-A-Brick can relate to Wann, Smith says, because they’ve embraced change themselves and have embraced the feeling of being uncomfortable by getting into the toy industry.
“It’s good to see this kind of inspirational story about someone who entered the toy industry 35 years ago and who still advocates for constant change and innovation,” Smith said. “After over three decades, he’s still looking for ways to create new toys that challenge people’s perception of what toys can do. We respect that at Click-A-Brick because when we entered the toy market, we were basically asking people to embrace change and innovation. We took a pretty tired toy concept -- one that basically relies on licensing rather than innovation to appeal to customers -- and turned it on its head. We just hope that we have such a long-lasting impact on the toy industry that someone will be reverently writing about us in 35 years.”
Something else the team at the learning toy company appreciates about Wann is that he doesn’t see apps played on electronic gadgets like phones and tablets as a direct threat to the physical toy industry, because apps are basically solitary endeavors. Physical toys, on the other hand, are meant to encourage strong social interaction, according to Wann. This is something Smith says he and de Gorostiza can relate to, as they want Click-A-Brick to inspire social interaction, particularly within families.
“We’re not quite as optimistic as Bob in believing that apps are not at all a threat to the toy industry,” Smith said. “But, like him, we believe children will always want to play with physical toys, especially ones that offer something different than what they’re used to. It’s not exactly like we’re competing directly with apps and electronic devices, because people are social creatures by nature and children in particular are always curious about their physical environment. It’s that sociability and curiosity that we aim to tap into.”
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