Bio.of A. Eddy Goldfarb
For as long as I remember, I wanted to be an inventor, I was born in Chicago and, from my earliest school days I began designing everything from rockets to rotary engines and even some toy inventions, My first toy inventions were cardboard articulated figures and glass divers (I made them on the gas burner of the kitchen stove) in Coca-Cola bottles.
I joined the navy when WW2 started because I wanted to get into radar which was top secret then. I volunteered for submarine duty where I spent the rest of the war in the Pacific. In that kind of environment, I relied even more on my imagination whatever spare time there was inventing and planning for the future. I invented my first toy while still at sea and when the war ended I was ready.
I knew early on that I wanted the freedom that comes with being an independent inventor. I also knew that to insure success, I would have to specialize in one industry, preferably one where the end product would not be too costly or take too long to develop. I chose the toy industry, I always liked children and believed I could invent items they not only would enjoy but also learn something and even to remember the toys in later years. The industry was much smaller then but I felt that they would be more receptive or at least as much as any other industry. I was right in everything except the cost of development.
At that time, its quite possible that I was the only independent toy designer (versus inventors who were on staff at toy companies and I also heard about some who were independent but worked exclusively with one toy company).
Most companies were receptive but a number of them were downright hostile. Some of them did not want to recognize inventors and resented paying royalties. Establishing a format for a general and fair toy-licensing contract took a long while. I found that the companies that valued new product and worked with inventors are still around while most of the others went out of business long ago,
Some stories from the past:
Right after the war ended, I prototyped a line of three items. I went to a company in Chicago that made toys all through the war. The owner decided she wanted one but I said she must take all three, because they were a line. I didn't know any better, she said no and none of them were ever made.
During that early period I went to the hobby show in Chicago- They would not let me in, I was not a buyer, I was an inventor, and they were tough. I came from Los Angeles and it was expensive but somehow I was going to get into the hobby show. I found a back door and got into the rear of the display area. The lighting was dim and I wandered around until I found what I thought was a door. I pushed it open and to my chagrin I knocked down a big part of ideal's display area. I had a lot of explaining to do but I did get in and saw the hobby show and ideal became a very important client.
I was the first American to receive the i.d.i.o.t. award, (international designers & inventors of toys) from United Kingdom and European community.
I have had close to 600 items on the market and have over 250 patents. I was and am involved in all toy categories; games, dolls, rc, preschool, craft, boys and girls toys and arcade games.
Some of my first earliest but very successful items were:
Yakkity Yak Teeth, those windup chattering teeth are still around after fifty years. Busy Biddy, the little chicken that lays eggs. Still selling around Easter holiday time. Merry-G,o-Sip, a glass that has a merry-go-round that rotated merrily as the child drank their milk.
Other items that have been successful for us,
Fantastic Sand Surprises
Creator Lego Game
Giant Bubble Guns and Follow UPS
Milky the Cow
Spin Art and Follow UPS
Hydro Strike Line
Being a toy inventor has been a great and rewarding career. I've been extremely fortunate to have wonderful associates throughout my career. Also to have had my family- daughters, Lynn and Fran, son and partner, martin and my wife Anita, who has been an integral part of my professional life, We also have two almost ten years old grandsons, Rene and Guthrie, who already enjoy what we are doing and who knows, may become our third generation of toy inventors.