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How to turn a manufacturing error into millions (the Garfield story)


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Jul 18, 2012
Scottsdale, AZ
Saw this the other day and thought it was interesting to say the least. The creator of Garfield (the cartoon cat - a huge success in the 80's), had ordered a bunch of plush Garfield toys with velcro for its feet - that he thought people would want to attach to their curtains in their homes for fun.

But his manufacturer had screwed up the order, instead attaching suction cups to Garfield's paws.... Although frustrated at first, Davis figured maybe at least people could attach it to their home windows. But the market didn't see or want that use for it either. Instead, the market mind discovered another use for it and revealed how they really wanted to use this new product... in their cars.

The Great Garfield Car Window Toy Craze

Manufacturing screw-up + thinking outside the box + the market then finding another use for the product as intended = $50 Million in sales.

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Dec 8, 2017
Awesome article! I'm impressed by Jim Davis's entrepreneurship. He saw a need in the comic industry for a cat character that'd be as embraced by cat owners as Snoopy was by dog owners, so he seized the opportunity with the intention of merchandising the heck out of it. Absolutely brilliant!

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