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 afterwards, I was designing for Mattel.

Simba from 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


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