Local inventor’s work could pay off as he launches new toy line
A local Truckee inventor is about to introduce a new toy which he hopes will be a smash hit.Donner Lake resident David Curtis, president and founder of the Implosion Toy & Invention Co., is expecting a shipment of 16,000 units of his Controlled Demolition toy to arrive in the next few months.Like a wooden building-block game, Controlled Demolition allows players to build whatever structure they choose over a specially-designed base. The base hides a movable plate, which can be placed in different positions to collapse different portions of the structure when the players push a demolition-type plunger.”As a boy, I loved playing with LEGOs, but always wanted to smash them,” said Curtis, describing the thrill of tearing down a toy structure.Curtis said that an executive from the Mattel toy company was excited about Controlled Demolition’s potential and was ready to purchase his patent about a year ago.Curtis refused the offer and has instead taken an unusual path for an inventor: he decided not to give up his patent, believing that he would be more rewarded by developing the toy independently rather than exchange the patent for 8 percent of a toy’s estimated returns, of which he would then give up 60 percent to a toy broker. Instead, Curtis decided to manufacture, promote and sell the toy to stores through his own company. Formerly a roofing contractor, he has invested most of his time in selling his inventions. The roofing work that he does do involves installing specially-designed roofing screws, which he has also patented.Curtis said that he has received funding from several Truckee locals and is hiring nearby businesses for support services such as design and promotion.He has also arranged joint promotions with the Loizeaux family, owners of Controlled Demolition Inc., the Maryland-based demolition company which dynamited Reno’s famed Mapes Hotel earlier this year.In an effort to promote the toy, Curtis is sponsoring a contest in which winners will receive a limousine ride to witness one of the approximately 50 demolitions that the Loizeaux company performs annually around the country.Curtis denies that his toy could promote violence in children and said that despite its aggressive character, his toy is not destructive but constructive. He emphasizes that the game is “99 percent building” and that “when you’re done, you’ve got a really cool way of destroying (your structure).””We don’t want to give kids the wrong idea (about demolition),” he added. “We like to bring real life into your living room in a fun way to bring the whole family together,” he said.Implosion also has four other toys available for sale, including an earthquake game in which players buy floors and make additions to a building and can pay to insure them against damage. Players who build on a fault-line must draw cards where the wrong card obliges players to activate a motorized base which will bring different levels of damage to the building.”We’re into real-life types of toys,” said the inventor, who explained that when he was a boy, he would jot down toy ideas, which have now grown into a two-inch thick file.For further information on Implosion and its games, contact Dave Curtis at (530) 582-5543.
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