MONROE — Find It Games now has its first celebrity endorsement of sorts, one that was entirely unexpected.
And as a result of being touted on national TV two weeks ago, the Monroe-based game maker has received phone calls from new customers and stores interested in selling its products.
On Feb. 25, Find It was featured during a segment on ABC’s daytime show “The View,” which highlighted some of the hosts’ favorites from the New York Toy Fair, the industry’s biggest annual trade show. “View” co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd toured the toy fair the previous week, scouting out the best toys and games for the upcoming year.
Bob Knight, founder of Find It Games, said Goldberg stopped right at his booth and asked about the toy, a clear plastic tube that contains dozens of small items — ranging from buttons to plastic letters and figures to a penny — hide amid recycled plastic pellets. Find It now comes in five themed versions, including Find It at the Beach and Find It at the Zoo. A sports-themed version also is coming soon.
Goldberg and the camera crew played with the Find It products for some time before an associate producer for the show asked him if he could get 200 Find It toys to “The View” to give out as door prizes to the show’s live audience. “I think it’s the first time we’ve ever sent 204 games overnight to New York, much less anywhere,” Knight said.
Additionally, Goldberg kept playing with and showing off her Find It toy as she continued looking around the toy fair, said Brian Maggio, Find It Games’ business development director. That spurred other exhibitors to check out the company’s booth.
But the big boost came the next week, when “The View” aired its segment about new and cool toys. Knight said the show’s co-hosts showed it off and played with it. Goldberg declared Find It was her favorite toy from the fair. “We couldn’t have asked for better representation,” Knight said.
Since then, an executive producer of “The View,” has since requested additional games from Find It, as a co-worker made off with her sample.
The exposure is a big deal for a little company that’s marketed itself mostly by word of mouth during the past five years. Launched in 2003 by Knight and his wife, Lynn, Find It’s “contained treasure hunt” game now is sold at more than 2,000 independent toy shops, catalog retailers, Barnes &Noble and some Hallmark stores. The toys are assembled in the company’s Monroe warehouse.
Since “The View” talked about Find It Games, traffic to the company’s Web site has doubled, Maggio said, and some new retailers — including at least one big chain — have contacted Find It about carrying their games.
“For a small company, this has been pretty significant,” Maggio said.
Reporter Eric Fetters: 425-339-3453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.