Sneak Peek: Nerf Combat Creatures!

Nerf Combat Creatures Attacknid
Nerf Combat Creatures Attacknid

What does it take to get your idea for an awesome toy into the hands of an actual toy company that can produce and distribute it? For Jaimie Mantzel, it took a lot of work, a lot of travel, and not a little bit of luck.

From Jaimie’s Facebook page:

“It’s funny having lived right near Hasbro’s headquarters for 6 years. Every time I went past their building I thought, ‘If only I could get someone in there to look at my inventions…’

I haven’t lived there in over a decade, but now they’re selling my stuff.”

The physical distance between Hasbro’s headquarters and where Jaimie used to live was about 100 meters. However, the practical distance was huge. He had to drive to NYC to meet Dr Graeme Taylor from the Wow! Stuff toy company. Then he traveled to England a few times, and to China about 20 times. He sent gigabytes of CAD files, argued for what he wanted, and eventually his walking “spider tank” robot toy was in stores like Target, Toys R Us and Amazon sold under the label Combat Creatures Attacknids.

Then Jaimie’s new dart blaster design for the Attacknids caught the attention of someone at Hasbro, the maker of Nerf toys. He was in the right place at the right time, and this week Hasbro unveiled the Nerf branded Combat Creatures at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

Wow! Stuff and Hasbro announced the Nerf partnership this Tuesday during the toy fair. The updated Nerf design is expected to be available this fall.

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Andrew Terranova is an electrical engineer, writer and author of How Things Are Made: From Automobiles to Zippers. Andrew is also an electronics and robotics enthusiast and has created and curated robotics exhibits for the Children's Museum of Somerset County, NJ and taught robotics classes for the Kaleidoscope Enrichment in Blairstown, NJ and for a public primary school. Andrew is always looking for ways to engage makers and educators.

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