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Build mechanical computers powered by marbles to solve logic puzzles. Escape planet Eniac and discover how computers work.
Build mechanical computers powered by marbles to solve logic puzzles. Escape planet Eniac and discover how computers work.
4,198 backers pledged $404,071 to help bring this project to life.

Turing Tumble Progress Update #12: NY Toy Fair

Posted by Paul Boswell (Creator)
58 likes
Our booth
Our booth

We just got back from the best convention we’ve ever attended. It was fun, exciting and a bit overwhelming. We met people from all over the world and all walks of life: toy store owners, inventors, manufacturers, press, distributors, sales reps, publishers, and (most importantly!) some of our Kickstarter backers. Turing Tumble was received with a LOT of enthusiasm.  

(In case you are noticing a different voice in this update, you are right! It is me, Alyssa, writing the update this time. Toy Fair highlighted my role in our company more than I expected. We both do a wide variety of tasks, but I have been handling more of the business relationships and that was a big part of our trip, so we decided I should be the one to tell about it.)

We took two friends with us, Jessyca and Linda. They both have been helpful in the business since before the Kickstarter and it was awesome to have their energy and insights during Toy Fair.
We took two friends with us, Jessyca and Linda. They both have been helpful in the business since before the Kickstarter and it was awesome to have their energy and insights during Toy Fair.

Before the main Toy Fair starts, there is a “product preview” day. That’s where someone from each company pitches their toys to representatives of the Toy Association so that they can see what might interest the press throughout the week. The preview got us off to an amazing start. Turing Tumble was chosen to be highlighted in a presentation on toy trends that was attended by about 300 people. A presenter spent time with Paul learning all about it and then on Sunday it was highlighted as one of the trends in the learning toys category. We were really proud to see it on the stage alongside LEGO, Mattel and Hasbro products.

Toy Trends Session
Toy Trends Session

The first day was really fun, but overwhelming. Our booth was hopping and the four of us were pretty much busy all day. I was apprehensive leading up to Toy Fair because I had corresponded with many people, and I wasn’t sure I’d know what I was looking for in the face to face interactions. I also wondered if I would be able to hold my own as I’m totally new to business, save for the couple books I’ve read and some friends who have generously answered my questions. My apprehension was warranted. It was incredibly hard to distinguish good business opportunities from not such good ones.

A busy booth
A busy booth

After some insights from an industry veteran and mulling it over, I had a clearer head and went into day two with a list of the business opportunities I wanted to solidify: 1. Companies that have toy catalogs that catered to more educational products, 2. A few international distributors and 3. Buyers for toy stores. The list helped me prioritize and gave me clarity as I met new people. By the end of the show we had solidified some plans and brought home three notebooks full of leads!

One thing I didn’t expect was the number of people who seemed fishy. Some would avoid answering questions, some would promise you the moon, and others just used a lot of confusing acronyms and name dropping. Some walked up to the booth with their name tag flipped around and you couldn’t tell right away if they were trying to remain anonymous because they held a high position or if they were trying to get by with something. Going into Toy Fair someone advised us to treat everyone the same. We stuck to that for the most part…except when that guy from The Tonight Show stopped by. After I showed him the binary demonstration he told me our game was “smart Plinko”. I sure hope he tells Jimmy Fallon about it!

Guy from The Tonight Show
Guy from The Tonight Show

One of the highlights of Toy Fair was Paul being interviewed by Make48, a show on PBS where teams compete to develop a new commercial product idea in a 48 hour invent-a-thon weekend. Bob Coulstron, the host, is a Kickstarter creator and enthusiast who followed our campaign. Some part of the interview will be aired in season two of their show this fall.

Make48 inventor and Kickstarter enthusiast, Bob Coulston
Make48 inventor and Kickstarter enthusiast, Bob Coulston

We are so grateful that we got to be a part of Toy Fair 2018. Thank you for believing in us from the beginning! It was intimidating to introduce it to the retail market, but with the support of all of you, we felt very confident. It says a lot to buyers that 4,198 people wanted the product when it was just a prototype.

Production of the plastic parts begins the first week of March. Next time you hear from us, Paul will be home from China with news on how the production is going!

Our sincere thanks,

Alyssa and Paul

Here are some additional pictures: 

Set-up day at Javits
Set-up day at Javits

 

Crazy Aaron who makes awesome thinking putty!
Crazy Aaron who makes awesome thinking putty!

 

The journalist from Fatherly who wrote an article about Turing Tumble that was widely read, Dave Baldwin
The journalist from Fatherly who wrote an article about Turing Tumble that was widely read, Dave Baldwin

 

Paw Patrol was EVERYWHERE!
Paw Patrol was EVERYWHERE!

 

Outside Jacob K Javits Convention Center
Outside Jacob K Javits Convention Center

 

Power Rangers
Power Rangers

 

A prolific inventor who worked on Hatchimals and Teddy Ruxpin
A prolific inventor who worked on Hatchimals and Teddy Ruxpin

 

Javits Convention Center at night
Javits Convention Center at night

 

Melinda Brisch, Benjamin Leung, and 56 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Alyssa Boswell Collaborator on

      I've really enjoyed reading all your comments! Thank you! Paul's time in China has been incredible - you are going to love reading that update.

    2. Christopher Callow on

      Really enjoyed this update; great to see more of the commercial side. Thank you for sharing!

    3. William Steele on

      It was great getting to see it in real life! :-) Awesome time.

    4. Kalman Perenyi
      Superbacker
      on

      Hello,
      Congratulations on this success! I just grabbed my keyboard to echo two messages from other backers: 1) Yes, it is great to be the "seed" of your Turing Tumble Empire :) 2) Yes, I am also a boardgame project backer, and TT is indeed looked at as a boardgame by me as well, so yes, Essen is an excellent idea - maybe you could extend your already extensive list a bit more and see where that takes your product :)

    5. Morgan Kennedy
      Superbacker
      on

      Hi hi looks like you guys are doing great! I’m not sure if I speak for a lot of us, but a lot of people on Kickstarter are board games lovers like myself and see this product less as a educational toy and more as a great board game for our kids. Perhaps one angle you could consider is pushing it towards the board game retail space. I know a lot of parents who value teaching their kids problem solving skills through board games would see this one as a top winner on their shelf. Maybe jump into Essen this year?

    6. Missing avatar

      FredericLep on

      Great update. I was not aware of the challenges brought by the business side of this project. I wish you that some of those new contacts bring great success for your company!

    7. Missing avatar

      Andrew Carletti
      Superbacker
      on

      That booth looks awesome!!! I wish you all the success.

    8. Missing avatar

      Mikhail Koslowski on

      Congrats Alyssa and Paul!
      I'm really excited to get my game soon but more than that I'm really proud of being part as a small seed of this amazing bussiness you are building!
      You are a great inspiration!

    9. Missing avatar

      Jonathon Ladmore on

      Thanks for all the great updates. Sounds like you had a really fun time and learnt a lot.