BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The largest retailer in the world is looking for the next hot idea from local entrepreneurs.
Devin Bartolotta has more on one Maryland invention flying off store shelves thanks to the open call.
We’ve all said at one time or another: “Why didn’t I think of that?”
It’s those kind of ideas — WalMart hopes to find from Maryland inventors.
The idea is this simple: paper tape printed to look like a road.
“PlayTape – it’s the world’s simplest toy!”
Made in different curves and colors, PlayTape turns any surface into a Hotwheels superhighway.
Andy Musliner came up with the idea 15 years ago at his home in Anne Arundel County – when he realized his son’s cars had nowhere to drive.
“So then I did a whole bunch of research on the toy industry, on tape, and 12 years later, I came out with PlayTape in 2014,” says Anyd Musliner, Founder and CEO of InRoad Toys.
But an opportunity with Wal-Mart fast-tracked Andy’s business on the road to success. It’s part of a $250 billion dollar commitment to buy American-made products and create jobs.
Wal-Mart buyers will be looking for the next big thing during an upcoming open call.
“We’re looking for innovation and excitement that will improve or better the lives of our customers and their families,” says Wal-Mart buyer Matthew Bertrand.
Andy’s Maryland-made PlayTape is now mass-produced and sold at stores all over the country.
“We’ve been able to accomplish things I never, ever dreamed of being able to do,” says Musliner.
A life-changing deal for one Maryland inventor, where the rubber — quite literally meets the road.
Wal-Mart’s open call is next month at headquarters in Arkansas. They’ll be making deals with small companies on the spot.