The Key To Successful Inventing Is Building Relationships

by | Mar 28, 2022

Growing up as a child and experiencing the magic of Disney was impactful.

I’ve been in love with everything Disney for years. When I had the chance to be part of that world, I jumped on it.

It all began at a startup company called Worlds of Wonder (WOW). After working on Teddy Ruxpin, I had the opportunity to work on the first talking Mickey Mouse and Goofy.

Talking Mickey Mouse and Goofy:

It was amazing visiting Disney’s headquarters in Burbank and talking to their creative team. I was there getting a sign off to start production on another fun project.

Little Boppers:

It was a dream come true!

After Worlds of Wonder, I had the opportunity to design Disney characters for Applause.

Soon I was designing for Disney’s theme parks and stores.

Plush characters from the movie Pocahontas:

Soon afterward, I was designing for Mattel.

Simba from The Lion King movie for Mattel:

Winnie the Pooh plush treehouse from Mattel:

Soon I started to license my ideas to companies that had a Disney license.

Story Book Pen and Pencil Sharpener / Hunchback of Notre Dame and 101 Dalmatians:

Storybook-Pen

Next was designing for a kitchen company called Trudeau.

Rotating Cups and Containers:

Hunchback of Notre Dame:

Next, I was designing guitar picks.

Disney Hot Picks

And finally, designs were created using my rotating label.

Twist N’ Chill / Cars and Hannah Montana:

It was amazing to see products I was involved with come to market.

Seeing my product ideas using the Disney properties sell in major retailers, Disney stores, and theme parks was amazing.

I built a long relationship with Disney over the years. It was an honor and pleasure to work with so many creative people at Disney.

A few things I learned:

1. Treat everybody fairly and never burn a bridge.

2. It’s a small industry. Sooner or later, you’re going to run into the same people.

3. Your reputation is everything.

Thanks for reading!

– Stephen Key
inventRight Cofounder