page provides information on the development and production of the G1
Littlest Pet Shop collection.
from an interview with former Kenner manufacturing employee D.S.
Although not specifically about the manufacturing of LPS items,
this interview provides a great deal of information about the
manufacturing process used by Kenner in the 1990s.
Entire interview posted at KennerCollector.com
worked on a lot of products of the years, most of the time on
boy's toys which seems to be Kenner's strong point. But I
did spend several years on the girl's team before it was sent to
Rhode Island. I worked on Cindy, a fashion doll that was to
compete with Barbie, Littlest Pet
Shop, and several other lines
that never saw any large sales numbers."
would start toys based on ideas that people felt would sell.
At some point someone would come up with an idea for a toy
or a line. The Designers would start making sketches, (this
took several weeks) as the sketches started to take shape, models
would be started to show play features (several more weeks).
Marketing would make suggestions and do some research about
package and sales information. Engineering would look at the
items and a quick cost sheet would be done. This part could
take any where from 2-3 weeks to 2-3 months depending on workload
and time of year.
Marketing liked the design and cost, then the project would be
started. Engineering would start the toys design, and the
Designers would finalize details on how the toy would look, and do
color studies. In 10 to 16 weeks the final design would be
done and we would head to tool start. 12 to 16 weeks later
we would have first shots. Samples would be built and test
changes made. 12 weeks later we should be at production
start. In about 2-3 weeks we would have first ship. Toys
arrive at the distribution center in about 4 weeks ready for
shipment. From concept to on the shelf at Toys R Us was
anywhere from 40 to 60 weeks depending on how fast we wanted the
project and what problems came up.
'tool start', there would be a go/no-go decision, again just
before 'production start' there would be another go/no-go time.
Once a no-go choice was made all work would stop and we
would start on another idea. I have no real facts on these
numbers but I felt that of 100 ideas sent in for us to work on we
might work on 10, of those 10 only 1 or 2 would make it to
production, and of every 100 toys that made it to production only
1 would be a real hit. A lot of ideas that we worked on were
for whole lines. Kenner didn’t do many 1-item toys. They
always wanted ideas that would become lines. Lines always
had lots of toys at many price points."