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    Plush With A Purpose To Protect

         Innovative Toys began in 2008 somewhat by accident. As new parents, my wife Mildred and I struggled with a classic problem almost every Mom and Dad faces with young kids – our daughter Rachael and son Jake were both terribly afraid of the dark.

         Although we tried the normal remedies (the night light on the dresser, locking the closet door, etc.) bedtime was slowly turning into a nightmare for everyone. As more imaginary monsters began invading their rooms, Mildred and I began running out of ideas on how to help.
         One night, Jake came into our room, afraid of the monsters under his bed and said, “You guys have each other and I have no one.” That’s when I understood. What Jake needed was a friend large enough to hug, someone who would keep watch and make him feel safe.
         Within weeks, my Mom Christa sketched out some ideas for “monsters who could protect children,” which we called ScareMeNots. We built a prototype and tried it out on the kids. Suddenly, nighttime was fun again. Having “good” monsters in their room helped the kids feel safe enough to fall asleep. We launched our original line of six ScareMeNots at Toy Fair International in February 2009 and have been amazed at just how many kids (and parents) have responded.
         Since the release, ScareMeNots have earned ten toy industry awards, including honors from Dr. Toy and Creative Child Magazine. In 2010, we introduced Deep Breath Dudley™, an exclusive travel-size monster in partnership with the Infant & Children Sleep Apnea Awareness Foundation, to remind children to do their deep breathing exercises and comfort them during sleep studies, hospital and doctor visits.
         As we continue to grow, we hope to find more ways that our “Monsters for your monsters’ can help balance everyday “fears” with more fun and laughs. ScareMeNots helped us learn how to create toys with a purpose and we welcome your ideas on how take the ScareMeNots even further.
    Carl Restivo
    President, Innovative Toys, Inc.
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