From a fun idea and product design in 2003 to a toy design company with worldwide distribution and sales network in 2017. Our story in a nutshell. I am Sybren, waytoplay’s creator and designer. In 2013 my wife Marise and I embarked on a road trip into the unknown world of toys. Before we knew it, we were in overdrive. Together with Lex, distributor, and Stephanie, marketing, we are a solid team. Our kids, Bente and Joep regularly get on board to help out with packaging, events or photography for social media. Our team mirrors our product: compact, reliable and flexible.
The idea for a flexible freeway that can be enjoyed on any surface came to me in a flash. It was a day like any other, in 2003, when suddenly: a lightbulb moment and there it was. I immediately knew that this might actually be something real. My son Joep, crazy about toy cars and playing outside, had his fourth birthday coming up. That gave me a perfect deadline. In 2004 I had a first prototype. A very expensive birthday present, but an immediate hit. For Joep and for me. Waytoplay was ready for the open road.
After this promising start, we took a breather. Call it a pitstop, or gathering of wits. We needed it. In 2012 my wife Marise joined forces with me and we drove headlong into making waytoplay a business. In 2013 the pilot run of waytoplay hit Lex’ store in Haarlem (the current Mr. Paprika). All 250 sets were sold in the blink of an eye. It was clear that we had an audience.
Now for fabrication. After much research, development and a successful crowdfunding campaign, waytoplay went to market in 2014. A magic moment that only made us long for more. Our inner entrepreneur had been woken up. We wanted to reach as many children as possible. Lex knew the route and helped us navigate the world of toy retail. We kept going, like a diesel powered trike, towards our goal: the further growth of waytoplay. Through concept stores, toy stores and our own webshop, our road branched onward into The Netherlands and far beyond.
Waytoplay is currently sold in over 30 countries. On social media we enjoy a loyal group of waytoplay fans who share their unique waytoplay experiences. Stephanie joined the team in the spring of 2017. From beautiful Paris she developed our new website and will add her marketing expertise and drive to the further travels of waytoplay. The road stretches on ahead, who knows where it will take us?