Slime and putty have been popular playthings for decades with brands like Play-Doh and Cra-Z-Art becoming household names. Nickelodeon’s Slime and Silly Putty long held the titles as the most popular kinds of gooey toys, although Kidsco, Katzco, Fun Express, Toysmith, Kaylan, and others have also embraced the trend.

In the past three years via social media, a DIY “make your own slime” trend has become incredibly popular with kids, who are interested in mixing ingredients to make their unique variations of slimy substances. This fun and the playful process can be messy and doesn’t always turn out correctly, making the “slime trend” unpopular with many parents.

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However, the slime trend inspired inventor and entrepreneur Jeff Osnato to start his own company, WeCool, late last year and he’s dedicated to offering the coolest new compounds in a number of colors and textures. From glittery to fluffy to crunchy, the slime WeCool products has directly inspired the make-it-yourself DIY slime tutorials that have been trending on social media.

The new company made its debut at the NYC Toy Fair in February and their first products--all designed in house—are now available at retail. All their slime is safe, patented and parent-approved since they don’t stick to or stain furniture. The company’s make-your-own varieties are made simply from WeCool’s own slime powder and water.

WeCool CEO Jeff Osnato has been working in the toy industry for more than twenty years, has more than twenty patents to his name with more currently pending, and he is personally responsible for inventing and designing most of the slime his fledgling company offers.

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He’s also worked closely with WeCool chemists to create new and innovative compounds the toy industry has never played with. Jeff recently discussed his #Startup Company and his experiences as an inventor and entrepreneur.

Slime and startups

Blasting News (BN): How did you initially come up with the idea for Bobble Bitz and how did you ever think up so many styles?

Jeff Osnato (JO): As both a dad and a former Toys “R” Us buyer, I thought about creative play patterns broadly and about what my kids would play with once they “graduated” from Play-Doh. My team and I brainstormed ideas for a tactile craft that was easy to use, fun to play with and had a unique look and feel. We also wanted the compound to double as a craft material that would air dry hard. Through focus groups, we found that kids wanted free-form play, as well as a range of molds they could use to help them create favorite icons such as rainbows and unicorns that they could use as decorations or fashion accessories. And the idea for Bobble Bitz was born! We’ve incorporated these concepts into our creative kits, which include compounds and a variety of molds and other accessories.

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BN: Right now, how many different collections do you offer?

JO: We currently have a growing collection of Bobble Bitz offerings – from single to triple packs in a range of colors, as well as playsets, including the Creation Station. This expansive set includes our Bobble Bitz modeling compound as well as molds, tools, and accessories to help in the creative process.

WeCool also offers a broad selection of “squishy-like slime” products under our Compound Kings brand name, including an assortment of make-your-own kits that let kids make the popular compound using only our patented slime-making powder and water. We also offer pre-made compounds that come in Fluffy, Glitzi and Neon options. These squishy slime products are offered in single and three packs as well as in an array of playsets, such as the Makin’ Station.

The set includes everything kids need to make their own squishy-like-slime except for the water. More new items are on the way for 2018, too.

BN: Some of your products harden and can be used as window decorations; what cool things have people made?

JO: Bobble Bitz is a modeling compound that is designed for free-form play, so the possibilities are endless! We also offer a variety of molds in our craft sets such as a rainbow, cupcake and ice cream cone as well as molds for making rings and bracelets. The whole point of our start-up company is promoting fun by giving a classic plaything like slime fun, modern twists.

Inventions and future plans

BN: You have worked in the toy industry for years, so what most interested you in slime?

JO: We saw the opportunity to expand on the popularity of “oddly satisfying” products with innovative compounds that provide additional play patterns. We continue to see opportunities for expansion in this category and look forward to introducing additional new inventions this year and in the years to come.

BN: Be honest, do you have a favorite invention from your line-up?

JO: I love Bobble Bitz. I went to art school, and I appreciate the opportunity for creative expression. Bobble Bitz provides children with an innovative medium to spark their imagination without confining them to a singular play pattern. Bobble Bitz offers an entirely different experience unlike any other, and since the patented compound air dries, kids can use their creations in other ways, including as window clings, magnets, keychains, jewelry, and more.

BN: So far, has any creation proven to be especially popular and what have kid’s responses been like?

JO: So far, in addition to Bobble Bitz, our “Compound Kings Fluffy” squishy-like-slime product and our “Glitzi” offerings are proving very popular with both kids and retailers. Our “Fluffy” product has a soft and satiny feel, while “Glitzi” is sparkly. We’re also getting great feedback on our squishy-like-slime powder products, as kids can simply mix our powder with water to make their own squishy-like-slime compound.

BN: How do you plan to evolve and expand your company in the future and is there anything else you want to talk about?

JO: Our plans are to grow our offerings with more compound varieties that appeal to today’s kids and stimulate their imagination. If we can dream it up, we can make it. Through WeCool, we have basically created a new play pattern and patented innovative offerings within the slime compound category via both our Bobble Bitz and Compound King's assortments. We’re just getting started in the toys and games industry so stay tuned! #Interview #Toys & Games