So Chris and Richard the Wand Makers from The Wand Company, took the step and offered investors a possibility to invest their money in Magic.
The Dragons were left spellbound by duo Richard Blakesley & Chris Barnardo and their universal remote control which looks like a magic wand.
Well done Wand-Makers, I hope the investor money will allow you to continue to invent and create such awesome products. All the publicity through the show should empty your stocks quickly.
You can see the video here:
If you don’t know Dragon’s Den Show on BBC TWO – here is a short description from their website:
First launched in Japan, Dragons’ Den is now an international brand with versions airing in countries across the globe.
Entrepreneurs pitch for investment in the Den from our Dragons, five venture capitalists willing to invest their own money in exchange for equity.
Since series five, the five Dragons have been Duncan Bannatyne, James Caan, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis.
What you can see on the show
- Chris and Richard entering the scene via some dark stairs, perfectly dressed
- asking for a 200.000 pound investment for 10% share of the company
- quoting Arthur C. Clars third law of prediction:
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
- pointing to the really large and still growing fantasy market with the likes of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and such
- presenting the wand and accessories by letting a large black silk cloth slither down
- Richard: “looks pretty much as you expect for a wizards wand”
- “being a real wand it actually can do something”
- letting it play Harry Potter theme on an iPod touch deck
- controlling volume by turning it, switching tracks – and making the investors smile
- telling them it could control anything in their house
- Richard shows controlling TV, fans and even lighting a candle
- the history of business, started in September, by Christmas 10.000 units sold.
- ask for money, expertise to take the company to a 18 million GBP company over the next three years
- they hand the investors the wands to have a try for themselves
- we even spot one of the rare dragon serpent wand stands that was designed by Chris (I got one of my own)
- James Caan wants to know what is behind the magic
- the infrared emitter tip is supplied by one of the largest remote control manufacturers in the world
- the wand also contains a universal remote control chip for learning and sending the codes
- meanwhile the others look at the beautifully laid out manual
- its gesture based approach is compared to the Wii-remote
- with its internal orientation sensor it always know which way is up
- Chris refuses to say what the next product is – but it is awesome, so stay tuned
- “and it’s all based around magic?”
- Richard answers that TheWandCompany will become a brand for all sorts of surprising and magical products
- zoom in to the wand and dragon wand stand
- the Dragons are clearly absorbed by the product
- Duncan wants more information about the inventors
- they tell about their electronics company (where they met) that already sold (about 2 mio) advanced remote controls and embedded displays before
- speaking again about sales they were asked about prices
- impressive margin, great product, Chris and Richard are clearly doing well in the Den
- then Theo asks them about revenue and profits, he is wondering what they want the 200k for if their numbers are already that rock solid
- Deborah talks about the Harry Potter movies, of which the last two will air this and next year
- Chris speaks about people who like fantasy and wizarding things and of the appeal to people who play online games like World of Warcraft and the like, also about other fantasy themes like Narnya and LotR
- the wandmakers speak about deals with Target (US) and the Sky magazines of airlines
- Duncan is the first to break the ice, he offers 600k for 30%
- Duncan being dubbed “Voldemort” by “Hagrid” – Peter who offers 200k for 25%
- then the game starts with Theo asking them “what would make them happy”
- and Deborah offers half the money for 10%, ask they asked for 23% and two dragons
- James sat there listening and as he likes the product and the wand makers he offers what they wanted 200k for 20% later scaled back
- after the real time discussions of 2.5 hours have been cut down to five minutes for TV, Duncan increases his offer substantially and gets accepted
- Now there is money and a strong business partner to look forward to
The awesome GBP 900.000 (in sum) offer got quite a lot of press coverage
- Daily Mail – Dragons’ Den panel in record £900,000 bidding war for the ‘Magic Wand’ they think could replace your remote control
It’s just the thing that Harry Potter could use while watching TV at Hogwarts – a wand that changes channels or turns down the volume at the flick of a wrist.
And this buttonless remote control certainly seems to have magic properties because it has just attracted the largest investment in the history of Dragons’ Den, BBC2’s entrepreneurial reality series.
Chris and Richard have already sold more than 20,000 Kymera Wands since the launch in September last year and it is now on sale in 41 countries. They expect to turn over £2million in the next year with the help of Duncan Bannatyne.
- The Guardian – The most successful Dragons’ Den pitch ever?
It sounds like the far-fetched plot of a fantasy movie: crazy inventor enchants dragons with magic wand. But on last night’s episode of Dragons’ Den that is exactly what happened.
Barnado reckons he has been inventing since the age of 14, when he wrote to Tomorrow’s World with an idea for an artificial limb controlled by nerve impulses; more recent brainwaves include a new form of cheese packaging, a one-piece baby- bottle – and a scatological version of Top Trumps called, er, Plop Trumps.
- Stroke of genius: magic wand entrepreneurs secure highest ever Dragons’ Den investment
Richard added: ”I didn’t expect all five to like the product and I thought we would have some of them saying ‘fine but it’s not my cup of tea’.
”They were all pretty good offers so we just picked one.”
- smarta – Dragon’ Den: episode seven, reviewed
That concluded a fantastic spell in the Den for the Wand Company. They left with all their cash, retaining 90 per cent of their business. It makes you wonder if maybe the founders had a few magical powers themselves. Their performance in the Den sure went like a charm…
- Steve van Dulken covers the patent of the Kymera Wand on his Patent Blog
The patent application for the invention was published in May 2010 as Remote control device, in particular a wand.
I am unlikely to buy it, as I would forget which command meant what. Maybe that is an attraction — different waves of the wand would mean different commands for each person’s wand, making it a truly personalised remote control.
- Technology on MSNBC – Harry Potter-style magic wand conjures big money
The Kymera wand buttonless remote control claims no direct affiliation with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter empire, but there’s a reason it’s selling like pumpkin pasties on the Hogwarts Express.
The need for such a product is obvious to anyone who’s endured those Hagrid-sized commercial breaks that muck up each and every ABCFamily Very Special Harry Potter Weekend Event.
The U.K- based Wand Company’s Kymera wand — that operates via wrist movements rather than buttons — remains one of the website’s top 150 products, out of thousand-plus products ThinkGeek sells.
- Telegraph – Record Dragons’ Den investment for Harry Potter-style magic wand
They expect to turnover £2million in the next year with the help of Mr Bannatyne.
The Dragon said: “I see the magic wand rolling out very quickly over the next six months and I think it will do very, very well.”
There are lots of comments like
- useless gadget
- I don’t need it
- patent infringement
- how to switch 500 channels
- to pricey
- how to memorize 13 gestures
But I think after you tried it for yourself for the first time you perhaps think differently. And who needs 500 channels and can’t memorize 13 simple gestures?
Some positive comments
- Excellent idea I would love one if you have any going spare. Have you thought about making limied edition versions with different designs of handles etc or trying to approach the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings people to see if they are interested in a specially designed version. Can’t wait to see your next invention
- Well done to Richard and Chris, looks like a great idea! Will be looking out for your next products. Looking forward to seeing your company at the Autumn Fair. Hope Duncan can give you the help you need.
- When you reach 45 years old your eyesight starts to go for close up reading. Most remotes have really small text on the buttons so you’re scrabbling around for your reading glasses or pestering the kids to change channels or operate the TV guide for you. This gadget will be so useful. I’ll probably get one… I hope it works OK! Well done guys.
- I love it…much better than having 4/5/6 remotes sitting around (all needing batteries!!)…If I buy one I think I’ll get hubby to make a ‘holster’ to go on the side of the sofa to hold it..looks like it could be a brilliant invention for those not able to use buttons too….well done to you both and good luck!