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Old 02-23-2006, 11:26 AM   #1
celestina
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Smile How do you sell an idea to Disney??? Suggestions

I am not sure if this is the correct board, but I have what I think is a great idea that I would like to try and sell to Disney. I have designed and used this idea when we go to the parks (I have 3 boy's: 10, 7. 5) and even the Disney staff thought it was great. I am a stay at home mom, so living on one income can be difficult. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Donna
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:33 AM   #2
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Well first off the obvious thing would be to NOT tell anyone your idea, second, I think you would need to get a prototype together and then contact their marketing department. Remember, do NOT tell anyone on the other end of the phone what your idea is, just ask who you would submit a request for a meeting to. Not sure if you'll get the meeting, but remember there are other reputable companies out there that are designed to help you get your ideas out. Just be careful, do LOTS of research and document EVERYTHING regarding your idea!

There is always the independent route too, you can manufacture it yourself, set up a website, call local papers/parents papers, etc...to advertise, go to every craft fair/show whatever your idea pertains to and sell it on your own! Then maybe Disney will be contacting your "people" for a meeting!

Good Luck!!!
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:43 AM   #3
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Disney is generally not receptive to "ideas" from the general public. Be smart, patent your idea before you show it to anyone.

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Old 02-23-2006, 11:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducklite
Disney is generally not receptive to "ideas" from the general public. Be smart, patent your idea before you show it to anyone.

Anne
Exactly what I was going to say. Make sure you document and Patent your idea before showing anyone including friends and family!
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:37 PM   #5
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Don't have any advice, just wanted to say "good luck"
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:00 PM   #6
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When you say idea is it tangible like a product or intangible like a service?

if it's a product by all means get it patented and then go from there, but if it's a service then that is an entirely different subject with its own challenges.

GL with whatever it is!
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:19 PM   #7
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Just a quick note on the patent thing, these take years, but as long as it's "pending" then you will be okay. I would invest the $500-$1000 for a Patent Attorney, doing a search can take FOREVER, did one for my brother once, but still there it was far more than I could handle.

HAVE FUN and keep us updated! I have two boys age 8 and if it's something that would be beneficial to me at Disney, hey count me in as a customer!!
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducklite
Disney is generally not receptive to "ideas" from the general public. Be smart, patent your idea before you show it to anyone.

Anne
Took the words right out of my mouth.

I would also add the following short-term "duct tape" suggestion for protecting your idea before it is patented:

Write up your idea in as much detail as possible. Describe everything you can think of about it. Put it in a sealed envelope and mail it to yourself. (I can't remember if regular post is sufficient or if you should use registered or certified.) When the envelope arrives, never open it. Keep it put away someplace safe. It's now a quasi-official record of when you began protecting your intellectual property.

Lastly, don't put a price tag on your idea. If you want to sell it to a corporation, let them make you an offer. When Thomas Edison was young he met with a large company regarding one of his inventions. He went into the meeting hoping to sell it for $10,000. Story goes he had a hard time keeping a straight face when he accepted their offer of $100,000.

Good luck,
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:59 PM   #9
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I agree that Disney isn't open to ideas from the general public. DH and I wrote Disney a letter once about an idea we had about something. We weren't even trying to sell it to them-- we were happy to GIVE it to them, in fact we just considered it a suggestion.

Well, we got a letter back from an ATTORNEY with very terse language that they weren't interested in our idea, etc. etc. I was actually a little offended because we in no way intended to profit from our idea and our letter was very plain about that.

They didn't even say "thank you," let alone "have a magical day." Needless to say, I've kept all of my ideas to myself since then!!
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVCajun
I agree that Disney isn't open to ideas from the general public. DH and I wrote Disney a letter once about an idea we had about something. We weren't even trying to sell it to them-- we were happy to GIVE it to them, in fact we just considered it a suggestion.

Well, we got a letter back from an ATTORNEY with very terse language that they weren't interested in our idea, etc. etc. I was actually a little offended because we in no way intended to profit from our idea and our letter was very plain about that.

They didn't even say "thank you," let alone "have a magical day." Needless to say, I've kept all of my ideas to myself since then!!

That's the most likely outcome. Disney does not accept unsolicited ideas. Your best bet will be to patent and manufacture your idea yourself, and wait for Disney (or another company) to come to you - however, that is really risky.

A distant friend of my parents invented the Cranium game "Whonoo." She self marketed it and put a lot of money into it ($70,000). Crainium bought it from here, but she hadn't yet broken even as of Christmas (she will though - it needs to sell about a quarter of a million games for her to break even).

http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/13461580.htm
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:36 PM   #11
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Disney's also very careful about anything that involves using their characters or logo. If you make something witha Mickey on it, they could sue you. They don't even want childcares places to show Disney movies, or at least that was their policy a few years ago.
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Old 02-23-2006, 07:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyluv'r
Disney's also very careful about anything that involves using their characters or logo. If you make something witha Mickey on it, they could sue you. They don't even want childcares places to show Disney movies, or at least that was their policy a few years ago.
You know- that really makes me kinda sad...

DVCajun- Ugh! I would have been upset too! How un-Magical! Care to say what the idea was?

Donna- take everyone else's advice!! Do lots of research on patents. If Disney doesn't want your idea, that's ok. From what little you've said it almost sounds as if it's kid/travel oriented and maybe parents everywhere could benefit.. In which case you wouldn't want to be tied to just one market. Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2006, 07:29 PM   #13
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When I did my training for the college program and they discussed all the "legalities" that they thought we should know, they spent a good amount of time stating that we were absolutely not to offer/send ideas because it puts Disney in a very tough position and puts them open to lawsuits should they accept any letters with suggestions and offers to creation of new product. Should someone have sent a suggestion that someone at Disney thought of as well, they run the risk of that person suing so their policy is to not accept anything. They pay certain people to think up new things and those are the only ones they accept it from - imagineers, animators, etc.

Side-note: Did you know that anything that an animator draws while employed is considered Disney property, even on their own time, and that if they were to even doodle on a napkin in a bar they would have to immediately destroy it and cannot allow someone else to have it? Worked with someone that shadowed in Animation quite often.
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Old 02-23-2006, 07:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC Sadie
Exactly what I was going to say. Make sure you document and Patent your idea before showing anyone including friends and family!
Very good idea and my thoughts.
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:12 PM   #15
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My husband is an animator and that is true of other companies too - not just disney.
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