February 13, 2007
It seems that toys just appear on store shelves, but have you ever wondered who comes up with the idea for a new one? A self-taught inventor in "10 Country" looks at the world a bit differently with eternal hope and likes toying around.
An inventor always looks for the door that opens to his big commercial break, and the sooner its opens, the better, but until that happens, Anthony Westbrook spends a lot of time patiently waiting. "I read different magazines to relax and clear my thoughts," says Anthony.
Soon his mind starts toying around again. He thinks frequently about two toys he invented that he hopes has worldwide appeal. "I got it patented in 2000," says Anthony.
A simple idea. "A ring packaged on top of a soda pop bottle," says Anthony A plastic ring that fits any size finger, with a sponsor's message, wrapped on top of a soda pop can or bottle. The idea could have a huge payoff. "A $100 million a day," says Anthony, based on teenagers buying a soda pop a day.
If the thought of a simple plastic ring generating such a large pay-off causes a sweat, his other invention solves that problem. "These are talking deodorant toys," says Anthony as he sits two deodorant containers on a coffee table in his apartment.
The talking deodorant containers would have a variety of voices. "You can put a picture of Bill Cosby up there, press a button and Bill Cosby says, "Hey, hey, hey. It's Fat Albert,'" says Anthony.
He sees the pictures of John Wayne, Madonna, Carol Brunette, Fred Flintstone gracing his containers, along with their voices.
Another character could have a more pointed message. "The Tasmanian devil saying, ‘You need to use more deodorant, buddy,'" says Anthony.
If his creation catches on, it could generate big bucks-perhaps $300 million a day.
Where did Anthony get the idea of talking deodorant? The answer was right in front of his nose. "I was in bed a looked up at my deodorant, and I said, ‘I wonder if that deodorant could talk,'" says Anthony.
He gets a lot of ideas when sitting in his car, and even though he created some of his ideas 20 years ago, his enthusiasm remains as fresh as if he came up with them yesterday. "I feel that if I keep trying then don't quit, don't give up. Then, I could really succeed," says Anthony.
His ring toy generated some interest. A soft drink bottler mentioned paying him $850,000 for it.