Love Your Book & Toy
Toy and Illustrator Test
The package includes everything from the Basic Startup Package plus we’ll test three artists to find the perfect illustrations for your Children’s Book. You will have a toy prototype/sample of your idea in your hands and a winning illustrator ready to work on your book. $500 is 100% credited towards the production of the toy and $250 is 100% credited towards the illustration of your book. Detailed description of services below.
Love Your Book & ToyToy and Illustrator Test
- Dedicated Project Manager (see below box for details)
- Weekly Email Updates
- No ‘Surprises’ Guarantee
- Toll-Free Phone and Email Support
- Color Sketch
- Unlimited Revisions
- Color Turnaround
- Plush Prototype/Sample
- Photo Edits
- Trackable Delivery
- Pre-Production Photo Edits
- Closed Door Team Session
- Retail Quality Hangtags and Plastic Bags
- Children’s Book Style Guide
- Three Test Pages from Published Illustrators
Dedicated Project Manager – This feature is important for your project. One Project Manager (or PM) is assigned to your project, who has been specially trained by me to move you from the first contact all the way through to production as effectively as possible. You will benefit from this because you don’t have to explain your project (many of which can be quite complex) every time you call. My PMs meet with me every day at 1:30 pm EST to go over projects that need special attention. This means that your PM is supported by me and the other Project Managers. You will receive an update once a week, giving you updates on your project. This is part of my secret weapon called the SEED System that you can’t find anywhere else.
Weekly Email Updates – Your dedicated PM (Project Manager) will send you an email once a week whether there is new information or not, so you will never be left wondering what is going on. At times we may be waiting for materials or shipping which can take weeks. This is a huge benefit as it allows you to focus more on how you are going to sell and market your new plush toy instead of worrying about the toy itself.
No ‘Surprises’ Guarantee – Why this feature is important to you is because I receive calls from people all the time that chose a different company to get their toys made. They complain because shipping was cheaper with the other company but now 5, 6, or 7 invoices show up for different things like brokerage, duty, customs, DDC, dock charges and so on. I hate surprises so I promise you there will not be any, guaranteed.
Your final invoice will include the quantity of toys you ordered and one shipping fee (also any upgrades for a previously agreed upon price). That’s It! No Surprises! It’s written right into our guarantee.
Toll-Free Phone and Email Support – This feature is important to ensure true two-way communication. Your dedicated Project Manager will be sending weekly email updates to you, but you may have additional questions. I highly recommend gathering a few questions over a couple of days, and then contact your Project Manager. It is normal to have many quick communications at key points in the project, and you will benefit from having one contact per week. This is a key part of my SEED System which ensures your toy idea’s success.
Color Sketch – You will be so excited when you see the idea you’ve been thinking about for so long finally come together in a color sketch. If you don’t have your own artwork that is ‘plush ready’ then this is an extremely valuable and necessary service. 95% of the clients who have artwork we have to redo the sketch to make sure it is “Plush Ready”. The art form of designing plush toys is a very round art form. Sharp edges, thin limbs, fingers, toes, and straight features are difficult to show on small plush toys. It is important that your idea is sketched out as close to the stuffed toy version as possible. By accurate I do not mean more details. More details are not always a good thing as plush toys are quite round and basic in form. Having very detailed artwork will disappoint you when you see the final plush toy since your expectation will not be realistic. If you look through my gallery, you will see that I make high-quality toys that could sit on any retail shelf. So you are advised to follow my guidance and experience to let me provide the best sketch possible to represent your toy in plush form. If you want changes, I can suggest the best method to achieve your goals.
Unlimited Revisions – This feature is important as it allows you to make adjustments based on your opinion of the first sketch and second sketch. I will do a turn-around sketch for you (front, side, and back views of your toy in one image) and you can make changes. From there I will make a rough prototype for you which you can make changes to, and then I make a finished prototype and send it to you. The only thing I will insist on and not allow is anything that would not pass safety testing. Being a toy company I cannot make anything that is unsafe even if you intend to mark it as “Not a Toy”.
Color Turnaround – A very good addition to a well-done color sketch is an organized layout of your idea and a great turn-around sketch. This should “tell the whole story” of your idea so if there is anything missing from this turn-around just let your Project Manager know and they will add it. Any sketch I do belongs to you so you can use it on your website, social media or in print if you wish. You own everything I do for you.
Plush Prototype/Sample – All of your efforts and our hard work for you results in a physical prototype sewn together of your idea. The first prototype you see is called the ‘Rough Prototype’ because any embroidery will be just the future embroidery printed on paper and stuck in place. Some colors may be off and you may have changes. All of that is normal. The rough prototype is for you to figure out if we’re going in the right direction. Do you want the eyes bigger? Do you want the ears smaller? All of this can be discussed and noted. It won’t be perfect and that’s okay because we have rounds of changes to come and we’ll walk you through it.
Photo Edits – When you see your first Rough Prototype you will probably want to see changes. It is the first time this toy has ever been created so it is normal for there to be changes. I’ll help you make a list of changes and do a photo-edit for you. This is where you’ll see the existing toy on the left and the edited toy on the right. This also shows you how your requests will look in the next round. When you approve the final photo-edit, I’ll give that to my designer and they’ll sew a new version of your toy to match the photo-edit. Plush toys are an art form so when moving from a photo-edit to a real toy there will be some interpretation. It won’t be an exact copy of the photo-edit since all designs are done by hand – this is normal. From the feedback I’ve received of clients who have worked with other toy companies, this is a unique service which fine-tunes your toy idea.
Trackable Delivery – When your prototype is ready I’ll take high-quality photos and keep them on file. Your prototype will be bundled up and key information will be included. I’ll ship it to you with a tracking number so you can track its journey and make sure it arrives safely.
Pre-Production Photo Edits – You’ve completed sketches with changes, a rough prototype with changes, and a finished prototype is in your hands now. You still have a round of changes that can be shown in a photo-edit. The photo-edit will show you what your idea will look like in production. Being as this is the first time this idea has ever been made, I want to be sure you have a lot of opportunity to make changes and get the look you want. This is included in the Basic Startup package and all others.
Closed Door Team Session – With over 20 years of manufacturing experience, my clients have found these sessions to be extremely valuable in finding and correcting design issues. Every day I meet with my Project Managers to go over different projects and how we can make them better. I want your project to be reviewed and analyzed to make sure it’s going in the right direction. In this closed door team session, my PMs will go over the details of your project and get the group’s feedback, which you would then receive. This is a benefit you do not want to pass up on. You can use this feature at any time during the project, and you can request specific information to be obtained from this session.
Retail Quality Hangtags and Plastic Bags – Hangtags are business card sized tags that hang from your toy. It can include your website, logo, tag lines, phone number, or any other information you wish. You can also upgrade to make it a multi-page booklet if you’d like. For clean storage and delivery, I wrap each toy in its own plastic bag. Normally I require a $150 artwork fee to layout the hangtag artwork, but if you choose the Basic Startup Service Level or higher you will not only get the layout but the hangtags and plastic bags as well. So if you are ordering 3,600 toys (for example), this can amount to $ 1,122 in savings.
Children’s Book Style Guide – I worked with some excellent authors on a guide How to Write a Children’s Book and is yours with this package. Hundreds of hours were spent putting the guide together, and it will save you time and effort trying to research the information on your own.
Three Test Pages from Published Illustrators – For years I perfected this system and I hope you find it invaluable. I get three of my artists to do the same test page from your Children’s Book. I give them the same instructions and you’ll receive three very different illustration pages for your review. Every time I do this test one of the pages will pop-out and you’ll love it. This will save you months and even years trying to find the perfect illustrator.
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Updated for you March 20, 2023