Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wants to Get Doll Into Stores

Dear Rich: I have an idea for a doll. What is the first step that I need to take to bring her to life? I believe as you have said that I need to get her name registered by the USPTO for approximately $300. Is this before I actually get her made? What do I do to bring her into major stores? As for your first question, we're not sure how to bring your doll to life but we feel there are frightening implications associated with the process.
Trademarks? As for whether to seek trademark protection, we recently explained the advantages of various types of doll protection, including trademarks. We also wrote about the steps for doll protection in a 2011 entry though you can disregard the info about Copyright Form CO (R.I.P.). Finally, we've written about modifying existing dolls and selling them, in case that's your modus operandi.
How do you get your doll into stores? That depends on the store. If you're dealing with crafty type gift stores that don't require extensive promotion or fancy packaging, you simply need a prototype to convince the store buyer to buy your doll or take it on consignment. (This article explains the differences between retail, wholesale and consignment sales.) We suspect that by "major stores" you mean Toys R Us or Wal Mart. In that case, you've got a long road ahead. You'll need to license your doll design to a major toy company (which likely will require a third party such as a toy agent). You can read about the licensing process online or in our licensing book. If you don't license your doll, your only other option is to manufacture and package the doll, yourself ... a daunting and expensive task.

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