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While attending Toy Fair last month, Patty (from Chatty Patty’s Place) and I were invited to a breakfast for Buzz Bee Toys, where we got to see and try out all of the different Air Warriors and Adventure Force Blasters. They had a big long table with blasters and bullets galore set up for everyone to play with.
We had so much fun learning and playing with all the new products that are coming out! We also met Brownie Johnson, Vice President of Product Development.
Brownie was fun, friendly and you could see his passion for his job. Brownie was very happy to let us interview him!
Interview with Brownie:
How long have you been inventing for Adventure Force?
Buzz Bee Toys has been making Adventure Force items since 2017, it’s a great Walmart brand. Several members of our team at Buzz Bee Toys have brought excellent ideas to the table, which have been transformed into toys you can buy at Walmart and other retailers not only in the US but all over the world. We also often work with inventors who’ve come to us with some great ideas, including the Adventure Force Thermal Tracker with a heat-seeking scope.
Do you have family members or children that help with ideas for your inventions?
We gather inspiration from the friends and family of Buzz Bee Toys. For example, Roan, the son of a friend, came up with a feature for one of our new blasters. It also helps to get feedback by asking others to play with an early sample. Allowing them to experience the blasters earlier in the game allows us the chance to gather their thoughts and opinions on what can potentially be changed.
How long does it take the conception of a blaster to become a reality?
Typically, it takes at least a year and a half for a toy to go from a concept to being on a store shelf. This can also take longer – we just presented one that took three years to become a reality!
Which Adventure Force blaster is your favorite?
That’s a hard question – for me, it’s like asking which child is your favorite! However, I do really love the Adventure Force Thermal Tracker. It’s amazing how the heat-seeking scope can spot temperature differences from 60 feet away!
How do you come up with the ideas? Do you dream about them, base them on movies, TV, etc?
At Buzz Bee Toys, we sit down as a team to brainstorm and figure out what we’d like our blasters to be able to do, and how we can make that happen. Our team truly enjoys this process as we collaborate on what’s next for Buzz Bee Toys!
We also look at play patterns from games such as Overwatch and Fortnite. While we don’t make items from these games, we like to draw inspiration from how kids are playing with them.
Do the Adventure Force blasters go through a lot of testing? What kind of tests?
Depending on the country where it is being sold, a typical dart blaster goes through a lengthy testing process, spanning physical, battery, and safety tests. We also ensure that each item is properly labeled. Likewise, additional tests are performed for retailers who request them.
When you aren’t busy creating, what do you like to do?
When I’m not busy creating new blasters, I love art, reading, and helping a local group called New Alternatives for [LGBTQ] Homeless Youth.
What advice do you have for young inventors who want to bring their ideas to life?
Never lose sight of your goals and stay persistent! You’ll have many ideas – most don’t work out, but every now and then, there’s one that’s just right. Do your research on different companies and see how your ideas might fit in. Write in and ask how to submit an idea (don’t give it away just yet!). Above everything, be sure to have fun with it! When you’re doing what you love, it shows.
What do you have planned for the future?
Ah… yes, we have secrets.
Have any tips or tricks for your Adventure Force blaster fans?
Check out Buzz Bee Toys on Facebook and Instagram. We post all about our blasters and have frequent giveaways!