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Toy With It

Advice from an experienced toy inventor about coming up with and developing your ideas

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This story appears in the August 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Larry Schwarz started his inventing career years ago-when he was a kid, actually, and he had a habit of taking his toys apart and then gluing the parts back together in different configurations. Even when he was in law school, Schwarz couldn't resist doodling his toy ideas on notebook paper. And so, in 1997, he gave up his law career and formed Rumpus Corp., now a multimillion-dollar New York City toy company with 36 employees.

Schwarz comes up with ideas all the time-in fact, he filled 26 notebooks while in law school. So how is he constantly able to come up with fresh ideas when most people struggle to find just one? It all comes down to his inventing philosophy: "I think toys should be fun. I look for toys with an open approach that kids can find their own way to play with. I want kids to be surprised, and I want the toys to be unpredictable."

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