New ideas are the backbone of the toy industry and the need for innovative product is constant.
If you have conceived a new idea for a product or an innovation on an exisiting product, there are two ways to enter the market place:

A) Manufacture, distribute and market your invention yourself
B) Sell or license your invention

Before you begin!…..

A. If you are choosing approach A, be aware that this will require a huge amount of time, effort and money and you will assume full liability with regards to any returns, defects or injuries caused by your products. You must be aware of the regulations of the Toy Safety Directive to ensure you are manufacturing safe products and should also ensure you know of other relevant regulations such as the Packaging Directive, electrical standards (if relevant), etc. Research your target market and make sure you have all the information to hand that you need to safely bring your toy to market (more)….

B. When looking to sell or license your product, it is firstly important to have a good understanding of the toy industry and in particular your target market. Each year, toy companies will review thousands of new designs from which they will select their new product lines for the following year. Therefore it is vital to acknowledge that rejection is part of the game which makes it even more important to make sure you are targeting companies best matched and most capable of manufacturing and marketing your product. For a full listing of the types of products manufactured by BTHA members visit the Members & Products area of the website where you can search products alphabetically and find the companies full contact details (more)……

Play value is at the heart of all toy inventions, but whichever avenue you take, consider the following questions before you proceed:

Is your product unique or does it have unique features?
-Does the product communicate directly to the consumer without extensive explanation needed?
-Is your product impactful and/or newsworthy?
Is your design cost-effective?
Does the product have the potential to sell in significant volume?
-Is the product globally transferable?
-Does the product represent good value for money?
-Does the product have potential to extend into a product line?
-Does the product fit in line with the companies existing lines and general image?
-Does the product adhere to safety requirements and social responsibilities?
-Does the product reflect the recommended age range?
Is your idea legally protected?

You may need to contact an agent to develop your idea further as some manufacturers have their own in-house designers and therefore do not take outside submissions unless represented by a design and development agent. Some of these agents are listed below (please note that these companies are in no way affiliated or endorsed by the BTHA, you should always seek advice and references before engaging other people on your designs):

Agents for Design and Development

UK companies that invent/license toys and games (please note that these companies are in no way affiliated or endorsed by the BTHA, you should always seek advice and references before engaging other people on your designs and make sure your idea is legally protected):

Carterbench Product Development

Play on Design

Frazer Design Consultants Ltd – design and development only, no licensing

Seven Towns

Ooba Toys 

Additional extended information:

Character Licensing of Toys

Product Licensing

Other useful sources of information:

Patent Office
The British Library
Institute of Inventors
British Inventors Society
The NPD Group– global market research provider
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Chamber of Commerce
British Standards Institution
Trading Standards Institute
The Toy Fair 

Toy Trade Magazines:
Toy News
Toys n Playthings
Toy World