Corporate FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Corporate Clients
How much does it cost?

The cost per toy depends on the size of the toy ( l x w x h ), the quantity you order, and the complexity of the toy.  Typically you’ll see sizable price drops when ordering quantities of 6,000 and higher, but I can provide price breaks every couple thousand toys.  My typical client orders between 5,000 and 75,000 toys a year, but I’m happy to make as few as 900 toys for you.  You can take delivery all at once, or you can break that up over two or three deliveries.  The quantity and the size dictate the price more than other factors. You can get a ballpark quote here.

What is the minimum order?

My minimum order per design is 900 pieces.  A different design would require an additional 900 toys.  So two designs is 900 x 2 = 1,800 toys in total.
It is not economical to make less than 900 pieces per design due to flat overhead fees such as safety testing.  Some companies may skip safety testing which will save you money and allow for a lower minimum, but I won’t skip safety testing.

Is there a setup fee?

There is a $500 prototype deposit which is 100% credited towards production, so when you order 900 toys or more you get that $500 back making the prototype and design service free.

The $500 prototype deposit includes:

The majority of my clients have existing artwork already but don’t worry if you don’t have artwork at all.  Even for my clients with existing artwork I generally will create a new sketch anyway, since I want to show how your character will look like as a plush toy.  There can be minor differences from your character to your plush toy, which are important to establish early on so your expectations are realistic.

Sketch Revisions
It’s important to establish the look and feel for your new custom plush toy, and doing it on paper (via computer) is the quickest and most economical way.  I will show you the changes you request to your sketch, and keep going as long as you feel it’s necessary.  Please note, however, that creating a ‘perfect’ sketch that is not achievable as a plush toy does not help the project, so if I feel that a sketch will not translate well into a plush toy, I’ll be sure to let you know.  That is only fair.  Revisions are no extra charge.  New designs will be considered a new project which requires another $500 setup fee.

Material Selection
Your new custom stuffed toy will require the right blend of color, feel, and pile length selections to compliment your design.  If you have a material you love I can see if it works for your design.  My job is to guide you towards material selections that are appropriate for your designs, and match the look and feel you are going for.

I will get your stuffed toy designed based upon the approved sketch and materials.  Designing a plush toy is an art form so there will be some interpretation when translating a sketch into a physical toy.  Unfortunately, there is no computer program to output the perfect toy from a sketch.  It’s all done by hand using decades of experience and expertise.

Prototype Changes
Creating a unique, one-of-a-kind toy is exciting.  When the first toy is complete, it’s great to review it and see how we can make it better.  If there are changes, which does happen since it’s my first time making your toy, I’ll carefully list any changes you have and review them with you.  Some changes (such as seeing unique custom material) can only be done in production.  The reason for this is that if you require a special material, I’ll have to order the full production quantity of materials before I can make a sample using that material.  For most changes, I can edit a photograph on the computer and show you the changes in a photo edit.  This will give you a very accurate look at the final product.  With your approval, I will make a new prototype and send it to you.

Pre-Production Review
With your prototype completed, I can quote you an exact price at various quantities.  When you place a production order, I’ll make a production sample and get your 100% approval.

Can you make accessories?

Yes, I can make almost anything you want as long as it meets minimum orders and it complies with safety standards.  Safety regulations require me to test every toy production order.  Even if you want to make a toy that is not meant for children, it still needs to be safety tested.  Since I’m a toy manufacturer, everything I make must be safety tested – the cost of which is included in your price.

Typical accessories for the toy include: children’s books; toy clothing; toy backpacks (great for including CDs, DVDs, or product samples); toy hats and other garments; hangtags or booklets (great for including your branding); sound modules; and packaging (see below).  I can also do custom plastics, but there are fees for metal dyes to mold the plastic into shape.  We can 3D print plastics in pre-production but for mass manufacturing we need to make metal dyes which keeps minimums above 10,000 pieces or more for custom plastics.

Can I do packaging?

Yes, I can make almost anything you want as long as it does not compromise the safety of the toy.  For example, creating a voodoo doll with pins.  I can’t supply the pins, sorry.  I can create additional sales or marketing materials to be packaged with your toy.  I can create full-color retail boxes, ‘L’ boxes, or any other type of packaging.  Individual plastic bags are always a good idea to keep the goods clean, dust free, and odorless during transit and storage.

Can I ship to multiple locations?

Yes, of course.  I can split your shipment to be delivered to multiple locations all the way down to one carton per location.  If required I can also store your toys and ship out individual units to your customers. You can learn more about fulfillment here.

Can I ship on demand / provide fulfillment?

Yes.  I have set up fulfillment for several clients.  It could be as simple as basic storage with shipments sent out as they are needed, or as complex as fulfillment requests generated through website orders, or mail-in orders.  Each fulfillment need is unique so a custom solution can be set up just for you.  I can integrate with your website or build a custom website to handle it all.

Do I help with designing the toy?

Yes.  I have created unique toys from a simple description (“make me a Happy Frog” for example) as well as replicating a long-standing character or mascot. Either way, I’m happy to accommodate your needs.  I do have fun helping to put a marketing spin on an idea you have, and working out a manufacturing process that will fulfill that need.

Can I make a toy with...? (Ex: talks, moves, holds a product)

I can do almost anything that complies with safety standards, meets minimum orders and fits into your budget.

How long does it take to get your custom stuffed toy delivered?

Delivery is based on how many revisions and changes you require. Typically, I can create the first prototype within 4 weeks for your approval, and then production will take approximately 12 weeks after you give 100% approval on a production sample, which includes delivery to your doorstep. With toy safety laws, I am required to perform safety tests on every production order. Mandatory safety tests mean that there will be a Pre-Production stage which can add a couple weeks to your delivery date. For critical delivery dates like a corporate event or trade show, please do not mark on your calendar exactly 16-18 weeks before your event since those timelines do not allow any room for revisions or changes. ‘Just In Time Delivery’ does not work well when creating a unique, custom product for the first time. Please know that I can air ship goods in 4 – 6 weeks faster than a ground/ocean shipment. Air shipping is much more expensive than ocean shipping and should be avoided. One way that you can have your toys delivered to you more quickly is to have a small portion of the production order air shipped to you and the rest of the goods shipped by ground/ocean. If you spread the air shipping expense of a portion of your toys over the entire order, it can be viewed as being much more economical while fulfilling your needs.

Are the toys safe?

Yes.  I will not ship out your toy until it has passed all required safety tests for your country.  Even before strict toy regulations were introduced in 2009 I was vigilant in ensuring that every toy I designed and created would be safe for all ages.  This focus on safety has always been well ahead of profits and my personal business goals.  I am a privately held corporation so I don’t report to shareholders to show a profit, and I’ve also run my company in a profitable manner so I don’t have to cut corners or save at every turn.  I have been free to run my company according to my personal viewpoint and that is: I’d rather sleep well at night, not worrying about unsafe toys out there with my name on them as opposed to trying to cut corners and ship out toys that are questionable.

Where are the toys made?

Until 2001 all of my toys were locally made by Moms and Grandmas.  That was my slogan at the time.  With the government dropping the duty on imported stuffed toys to zero, it was impossible to compete with overseas factories.  Yes, many people still cared that the toys were manufactured locally, but they did not care enough to pay $25 for a toy that they could get for $5.  I had to fade out locally manufactured toys and introduce China-made products.  All of my products are made in China now.  Since the majority of skilled plush toy designers, safe materials, and manufacturing power is located in China, this is the most logical choice for manufacturing your custom stuffed toy.  You may not agree with manufacturing in China, but there is little choice other than not making a toy at all.  The feedback I’ve received on locally manufactured toys is that they are very expensive and delivery is a year or more to receive a small quantity.

Is slave labor/child labor used in my factories?

No.  There is no slave labor or child labor in my factory.  The main way I can make this claim is that when I produce toys for major corporations like McDonald’s Restaurants, they require me to complete a full factory audit.  The factory audit includes a surprise visit by a third party testing company that arrives unannounced to my factory.  The workers and managers are interviewed and the work area is photographed and documented.  The majority of my clients cannot afford such an extensive review, but I get a few a year which confirms that nothing has changed for the worse in my factory.