Colorwheel Toys

Interview – Roger Rambeau

Posted on: January 31, 2012

I spoke with Roger Rambeau who used to be the vice president of manufacturing for Mattel and worked at Sega. We discussed oversees manufacturing and the children’s toy market. 

Key Learnings:

  • The big toy companies have become very large and very bureaucratic. He mentioned that it used to be much easier to make a difference in the company but that has changed in the past years.
  • The toy development process in a large corporation is quite lengthy and involves several different groups of people. 
  • Oversees manufacturing can be tricky but if you make sure you are very clear with your directions and the factory is actually able to produce your product it can be a good route to take.
  • When contracting with a factory to manufacture the toy it is key that the factory is responsible for getting all the components, so you don’t have to coordinate between multiple factories.
  • Inspecting the factory should start with the back end to see how the components from other factories are received and inspected. Then the warehouse should be inspected to see how the finished goods are stored: whether they can be rained on, stolen, etc. Then the quality control group should be checked to see how they handle testing. Next, inventory management and the engineering group. Finally the factory floor should be checked. There should be a sheet of paper at every stating telling the operator what to do. Additionally, the line should be continuously flowing without any bottlenecks.
  • Different areas in Asia have different manufacturing specialties.
  • When we discussed the details of our product he liked the idea because girls are a fairly difficult group for toy companies to target with toys that are outside the realm of toys like barbies.
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