Wanted: Toy Testers - Duties Include Having Fun

Yes! Entertainment Offers Area Kids a Chance to Live a Fantasy

Kristin Schlotthauer, a Yes! Entertainment product manager, finds herself surrounded with Yes! products.

It can't get much better for a kid. You're called to visit the offices of a toy manufacturer, where they bounce ideas off you about what sort of toys you'd like to see developed. The manufacturer thanks you for your opinion, and you leave with the gift of a toy so new it's not available in stores yet.

That's one scenario for the young toy testers sought by Hacienda toy manufacturer Yes! Enter tainment.

"We're looking for children between the ages of three and 14 years to help with development and product testing," says Laura Baker of Yes!. While some types of testing require that the kids come to Hacienda, the company also does some in-home testing, with children throughout the U.S.

Focus Groups and More

The children's participation in focus groups allows Yes! to get an early indication about the potential of a product before the company goes to the time and expense of developing it.

"A concept might come to us and we need to make sure it's worth pursuing," says Baker. "The kids give us a handle on that from their responses."

Children are queried on a variety of subjects, including size, colors, style, shapes, and what they would like to see in a product.

"They give great insight," she adds. "It might be something like the overall, 'I don't think anybody I know would ever buy that,' all the way to, 'This is going to be the coolestI'm going to tell everybody about it."

The company also conducts post-production testing, where the first production samples are sent to children along with a questionnaire. "If needed, we can make a running change to the product," says Baker. "These surveys also help us determine if we want to continue the line." Since the prod ucts are mailed to children for evaluation in their homes, post-production testing can be done by children anywhere in the country.

"We're also in need of mothers of preschoolers to come in and participate in focus groups, too," adds Kristin Schlotthauer, a Yes! product manager. "The preschoolers can't tell you whether they like something just by looking at it, so we like to bring in the person who's actually going to be purchas ing the product."

To obtain a simple application to become part of the Yes! toy testing team, contact the company at (510) 847-9444 or stop by their offices at 3875 Hopyard Road, Suite 375. There is no deadline for applications.

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