Bringing Blink the Elf to Life:
A Story of Innovation and Collaboration
Valentine Sheldon’s book “The Christmas Tree Elf” tells the story of a magical elf who saves lives and trees during the holiday season. Sheldon dreamed of bringing his creation to life and turned to Sonos Product Development to design, sculpt, and prototype “Blink” the Christmas Tree Elf.
However, when Sheldon came to Sonos, he faced a major challenge. Another firm had already designed the electronics that were supposed to go inside the doll, but the electronics were not designed to the same spec and were far too large to fit inside the slim torso elf. Moreover, the cost of the previous electronics design was far too expensive for a toy design.
At Sonos, the team is constantly challenged with developing what a customer wants and trying to find ways to create an excellent product that can be sold at a competitive retail price. The existing designs for the book and doll set would be far too expensive to sell at retail. The team had a difficult conversation with Sheldon, advising him that they needed to develop a new design that would result in a book and doll set that could be sold at a lower, more competitive price.
It was a difficult decision for Sheldon to make, but the team soon got back on track with a new design for the doll and electronics. In the end, Sonos delivered on all of this for less than the remaining budget given to Sheldon from the previous designer, saving him money, and designed a realistic and viable solution for his electronic toy design. Best of all, the prototype and the electrical design were finished before Christmas so Sheldon could video and take photographs for his promotional items.
With the changes Sonos had assisted with, the factory quotes for production of the doll and electronics came in at less than $20, giving him plenty of room for profit and a very appealing retail price. The story of Blink the Elf is a testament to innovation and collaboration, where a dream was brought to life through the hard work and dedication of a team committed to excellence.