Bildy: A Toy Created By Your Child

658a52fc7dd8e9e2baa2876b83252a97_largeToys on the market today range from trucks to puppet stages to full kitchens–but there are few toys that encompass all of these. Bildy was designed to fill all of these roles and more, allowing your child to use their imagination to make anything from a tunnel to a rocket to a play house.

The Bildy is made up of double-sided squares of greyboard material that can be linked by disc connectors. The squares are not clunky. They have one pattern on one side and a different pattern on the other side. These patterns can be put together like a puzzle to make a house or car. The great thing about Bildy, though, is that your child can put their own designs into action by creating tunnels, shops, puppet 1209f25ea2c561d62a863640068b625c_largestages, rocket ships – the list goes on.

The Bildy lets your child develop ideas, helping greatly with creative problem solving and fine motor skills. The building of the tunnel or castle or ice cream truck isn’t the only thing that makes it personal to your child; the stories they will imagine and take part in will be remembered through adulthood. One day it may be a fort in the woods, the next it is a nursery.

This toy will change with your child, one day at a time.




Pet Protozoa for the Biologically Inclined

def1c5c1402f767b860ff9a5c7583003_largeNow there’s a happy medium between a rock pet and a puppy.

Dinoflagellates are photosynthetic marine protozoans, tiny water animals that produce their own food using the sun’s energy. At least eighteen varieties of dinoflagellates are bioluminescent: they produce their own light.

Dino Pet is a colony of dinoflagellates in a a Dino shell. They live at room temperature, like beta fish. They must be fed (like a real pet!) with “Dino Food” – nutrients – and sunlight. At night, they light up like a Christmas tree. Provided with a little agitation (vigorous shaking of the Dino shell), the dinoflagellates within will give off natural light, a product of the sun’s collected energy.

How proud would you be to show off your pet protozoa? I don’t know of any puppy that glows in the dark when you shake it.



Scrooball: Chew in Safety

photo-main (37)Standard chewables pose a risk to dogs. Bones, sticks, even ropes are prone to breaking apart into all too tempting, all too easily swallowed bits, sometimes causing serious harm.

The Scrooball screws onto the ends of bones, sticks, and ropes. It is far too big to go down a dog’s throat, so the chances of injurious swallowing are next to zero.

d1eda928add89f8af65ecf90fd09d0c2_largeIt even improves on chew toys. Scrooball floats, and whatever chew toy it pairs with will, too. If you’re wanting to train your dog to retrieve items from water, consider attaching a Scrooball to his dearest, best beloved chew toy and hurling it into the lake.

The Scrooball is available in three sizes, small, medium, and large, to fit any chew toy and any sized dog.

Any stick you pick up in the yard can become a safe bit of fun, provided with a Scrooball on each end.

Abigail Kiefer, Co-Founder Red Clay


Meet Abigail Kiefer, Co-founder of Red Clay.

Abigail talks with Selling to the Masses host Derek Ridenoure about the importance of product design, licensing of the designs and the importance of the Bentonville, Arkansas area to early stage consumer product goods companies and developers.

They also talk about the journey of starting a business and getting it into the air.

Abigail Kiefer is the Cofounder of Red Clay, a platform built to design exceptional products. It gives any company, from a startup to global enterprise, access to hundreds of vetted freelance designers and provides software to manage an entire design process to go from concept to prototyping within weeks.​

Selling to the Masses – Helping great products go from idea to shelf!

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A Backpack Built for Extremity

54c15b1678e8904a7e9a74884408ec40_largeSay you found yourself hanging upside down on a mountain face. Would your backpack cause you any difficulty then?

OFFPISTE wouldn’t.  OFFPISTE is a new kind of backpack, designed for an active lifestyle. It fits differently than your standard backpack, which loops over your two shoulders. The moment you are anything but upright and still, it slides and bounces wherever gravity pulls it. Our friend hanging upside down on the mountain face has enough to deal with, without a twenty pound backpack resting on the back of his head. That is exactly where a standard backpack would be.

Upright or upside down, OFFPISTE will hang exactly the same way, because it straps over one shoulder diagonally, and then again around the waist. Nothing could be more secure.

018aa56af8f73b9e276da6847b59c8e0_largeYou could never reach anything in your standard backpack while in the precarious position we’ve taken for our example. Nor could you reach it in any case without removing it from one or both shoulders. Because OFFPISTE straps on diagonally, it can spin over the shoulder to the front, bringing all your gear within reach.

OFFPISTE may be worn on either shoulder. It’s water resistant, adjustable, modular, adaptable. It is comfortable to run in, as it moves with your body and does not bounce. Its fit does not restrict movement of the chest or shoulders. It goes where you go, the way you go.





Tintag Finds What’s Lost

20140829060447-indiegogo_colaj2Each of us has a handful of things that we can’t do without. Car keys come to mind. Phones, maybe. Perhaps a dog. We’re lost when they’re lost.

Tintag tracks your treasures and plays an easy game of Hot or Cold. Activate the Tintag app, and it will count down the number of meters you are away from the object you seek. If you’re moving the wrong way, the number goes up. As you move closer, the number goes down. Simple.

You can also set comfort distances, distances from your person that your treasure ought never to exceed. When your treasure moves beyond that range, an alert is sent to your smartphone, and Tintag will blink or beep.

20140829060447-indiegogo_colaj2Tintag recharges wirelessly on a charging pad, and its charge lasts up to four months. One Tintag can connect to more than one phone to find shared treasures.

The communication between your phone and Tintag is two-way. If you have lost your phone, press the dedicated Tintag button, and your phone, wherever it is, will ring. Sure, you could have someone else call your phone, but that would mean admitting you’ve lost it.

To what would you attach Tintag?



Cooler Bobs Illuminate the Icy Deep

coolerbob-header3You know the angelic glow of an open fridge? Now you can have it in your cooler, too. Cooler Bobs are little cooler accessories shaped like fishing bobbers. Powered by two watch batteries and an on/off switch, Cooler Bobs illuminate the contents of a cooler with LED light. Bobbing on the surface, propped on a pile of ice, they fit in perfectly with soda cans; something about the shape just works.


The inventor of Cooler Bobs had tired of the icy hand bath involved in searching out his favorite beverage after nightfall. Some coolers (like the Coolest Cooler) come equipped with LEDs in the lid. Their downfall? Buying a new and expensive cooler. Cooler Bobs illuminate the icy depths of any cooler, Coolest or no. Now even the oldest, dustiest cooler can glow like a Christmas tree.



Survival in a Cylinder

ab8e221dc9e2d344b48a7d98ab798488_large (1)Now if you find yourself stranded in the wilderness without the means to start a fire, purify water, open a can of soup, catch fish, saw down branches, erect shelters, signal for help, or tend your wounds, you have only yourself to blame.

No bigger than a flashlight (8 inches long, 2 inches in diameter), VSSL (pronounced “vessel”) is a survival kit in a cylinder. It comes in three varieties: Supplies, Shelter, and First Aid.

923690942fd9328018b9ad38d947d150_largeThe Supplies VSSLincludes seven capsules, each with gear in miniature for survival, emergencies, and fun. One capsule holds fire starting equipment, tinder, matches, a mirror. Another holds reflective trail markers. One capsule is a candle. One is a can opener; another, a compass. One capsule contains a wire saw and a whistle. A water filter, fishing gear, rope, and a razor blade also have their own capsules.

The Shelter VSSL includes an eight foot rope and survival blanket – the kind that looks like aluminium foil.

The First Aid VSSL is a miniature first aid kit. VSSL itself doubles as an LED flaslight, with steady and SOS modes.


The Popcorn Ball

46bc5cbfc5f5e9188ab1b45365a488c4_largeTo evenly distribute butter and salt throughout a bag of movie theater popcorn takes more cunning and resourcefulness than most can lay claim to. Short of making a really horrible mess, it almost can’t be done. The straw trick was cute, but no cigar.

The Popcorn Ball spins popcorn and mix-ins together, no mess, no straw. Just a hollow sphere with convenient finger grips. Fill it with popcorn, add mix-ins, and spin it between your fingers like a ball. Shake it if you like, but spinning is best. When you’re ready to eat, pop off the lid. You won’t be chasing the lid all over the movie theater floor; it remains attached to the bowl.

Design-wise, it’s splendid: Bright red and shiny and friendly, something you want to eat popcorn out of. It even splits in half for ease of cleaning.

The Popcorn Ball isn’t only for popcorn. What else requires even mixing for full flavor effect? How about trail mix? Or muddy buddies? Caramel corn? Party mix? Broccoli salad?



10 Things You Should Know Before Launching a Product

A mistake during product launch could deal a deathblow to your company at its most vulnerable stage. The following are ten things industry experts think you ought to know before launching a product.

David Columbus — Target Team Leader

  • Don’t go everywhere at once. Pick the right retailer(s) to launch.  Don’t be disappointed if you don’t garner full chain distribution right away. Be in the right stores. Patience leads to bigger wins and volume down the road. Remember: if your product is special, a buyer will move fast to get your product chain-wide.
  • Do as much work for the buyer (and buyer’s staff) as possible. Suggest inventory levels by store.  Show what your product looks like in a circular or featured in-store. Show what velocity (sales per store per week) the product will sell in peak vs off-peak.

Bill Sussman — President & CEO at Collective Bias

  • Podcasts are a great way to launch a new product and are infinitely shareable. They work well with today’s mobile obsessed consumers. They can be used to teach an audience about the product. Many influencers today strategically place them on their blogs to add richness and information.

Bill Akins – Senior Vice President, Business Innovation at Rockfish Interactive

  • Early stage CPG companies often do not fully realize the scale on which they have to produce in order to satisfy not only a mass retailer’s store count, but also safety stock, eCommerce, and promotional quantities.

Julie Busha – President & CEO of Slawsa Brand

  • One of the biggest things that start-ups (especially food entrepreneurs) don’t understand is the marketing you need to present to the buyer to sell your brand. Many food entrepreneurs think that just because they have a good tasting product or a product with “pretty packaging” that that is the primary focus with buyers. It’s not. Specifically spelling out what your marketing program entails to drive sales off the shelf speaks volumes to the buyer.

Thomas TessmerOwner of Integrated Insights

  • Manipulating data leads to bad things. Good salesmanship always involves some amount of creative license. But if you mislead the buyer, expect shoppers to quickly out you as they refuse to live up to the false expectations you set. Perhaps the only thing more painful than not gaining distribution you want is having to deal with the profit-killing costs of unsold inventory.

Meredith Lowry – Partner at Smith Hurst, PLC 

  • Consider trademarks when selecting company and product names. It’s easy to want a descriptive name to let consumers quickly determine the nature of the goods, but descriptive names are harder to protect. It’s also important to determine that another party isn’t already on the market. Accusations of trademark infringement can be very detrimental to early stage companies.

Clarissa Clark – Team Leader at Shell

  • Your baby might be ugly.  In other words, everyone adores their own child (and product), but not everyone will be as excited as you are about yours.

Lisa Bohn — Director at Retail Solutions

  • Forecast Accuracy– You must watch the forecast to ensure sales and forecast are in alignment. You will have stores exceeding and underperforming against expectations; you must find them and adjust.

Sean Womack – Brand Consultant at SLW

  • Brand from the shelf out.  A lot of new brands don’t have $100M ad budgets, so they need to brand from the shelf out.  Review it on shelf BEFORE deciding on a design; you cannot tell if it is any good until you get it in the store. Just get permission, put samples on the shelf and view them at various distances. You’ll know which is working.

Checking these boxes and avoiding these pitfalls could mean the difference between life and death for your product.




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