Crazy ideas dominate the holiday episode of “Shark Tank” Season 6 Episode 12, which aired last Dec. 12, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. on ABC. In this episode, a Jewish entrepreneur voices out his sentiments, sharks are not impressed with a top salesman, a teenager mesmerizes the sharks and a woman with reindeer horns will be in somebody’s portfolio. Read on to enjoy the crazy business proposals.
Neil Hoffman from Cincinnati, Ohio thinks Christmas sounds wonderful unless you are Jewish. He offers the sharks a 10 percent stake for a $150,000 investment. His product is Mensch on a Bench. Its package comes with a 12-inch mensch toy with its own bench and a hardcover book telling his story. Neil explains mensch means a “do-gooder.” He emphasizes it is a child-friendly toy. The story book is an educational tool.
Neil’s idea comes from his frustrations. He shares that he is part of an interfaith marriage. His December dilemma every year is how to celebrate Christmas with his children who are raised Jewish. His son wanted elves on the shelves but never bought him one because they do not believe in it.
Neil does not want a seasonal product; he wants a seasonal brand. Retailers take possession of all inventories to avoid problems. He shares he was a former Jasper toy executive. He stresses he is not just a crazy Jewish guy. He works three days a week while he devotes two days for his product. He is ready to quit his job if ever there is a deal.
Neil raised $22,000 on kickstarter, made 1,000 inventories and sold everything. He sold another 1,000 for pre-orders. It costs $7.45 to make. For retailers, the big box costs $29.99 and the special package costs $34.99.
Neil already negotiated with Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, Barnes and Nobles, Michael’s and Toys R Us. He is going to do $930,000 in sales on 60,000 units. He anticipates $250,000 profit.
The sharks find the mensch toy scary-looking. Robert asks what the $150,000 investment is for. Neil plans to use it to make an app like the Elf Yourself. Mark bursts his bubble by saying creating an app takes more than $150,000.
Robert thinks he will just use the money for market. Neil says the market has no problem in expanding. His focus is expanding the intellectual property (IP) because there is no IP in the Jewish community. It is always about Frosty, Rudolph and elves.
Kevin tells him to not quit his day job because it is just a unique hobby. He does not see it as an investment. It is just a personal business. He does not see the mensch as a $10 million toy. He is out.
Mark thinks Neil is just focusing on the IP, not the expansion of the company. He thinks Neil has the cart before the horse. He is out as well.
Robert tells Neil that the Croatian community is close to Jewish community. He loves the idea. Even though it will take three to four years to expand the company and there must be an infrastructure built, he likes the path. The focus first is to maximize the sales during the holidays. Lori loves good values and morals and she sees there is a need for the product. Lori and Robert’s joint offer is $150,000 for 30 percent. Neil thinks his offer is already reasonable because sales are expected to boost. Robert warns him there are a lot of risks. He thinks Neil had not really articulated how to grow the brand. Neil’s counteroffer is $150,000 for 15 percent, and he guarantees to pay the sharks back in three years.
Barbara interrupts the negotiation. She says Neil does not have to pay back because she has a better offer. She is willing to invest $150,000 for 20 percent, no guarantees and two contingencies that will help the product. She wants to redraw the mensch’s face and rewrite the book to make it more readable for kids. Lori and Robert accept Neil’s counteroffer to beat Barbara.
The second proposal is from Nathan Shaffer from Henderson, Nevada. He offers $75,000 for 20 percent stake. He emphasizes hanging Christmas lights is a tedious job. Eve Drop is the only product that can switch easily from storage mode to display mode. Just twist the caps on the sides to move the lights up or down. An extra pay is needed for the long stick that can twist the cap without the need to climb the ladder.
Nathan’s current sales is only $4,500. The sharks are mortified with the low sales. Neil defends that it does not include pending purchase orders yet. It just came from the kickstarter campaign. The product is made overseas, and the stocks have not arrived yet.
Barbara announces her mother had a better idea long ago. Her mother drove two sets of nails behind the eves. When the lights are needed, she would just transfer the lights to the lower set of nails. When Christmas is over, transfer the lights again to the higher set of nails. Mark laughs and calls himself out immediately because he thinks Barbara’s mom is smarter than Nathan.
Robert asks Nathan what his current state is. Nathan is waiting for the inventory to arrive. He bought it for $30,000. His total pre-order is $3,500 for twelve different stores. Lori is confused why he ordered so much at one time. He says he anticipates Christmas season. He boasts that Skymall even approached him to put his product in the Christmas catalog. He denied the offer because he believes he can sell it in a higher margin elsewhere. The sharks are shocked and turned off with his decision of not accepting the order. All of them are out.
The mother-daughter tandem, Andrea and Hong Cao, are next. They introduce Qflex. The product is made as a personal acupressure system and designed to use on sore spots and muscles to relieve tension and pain. There is no need any more to go to massage parlors. The tool is lightweight and portable. They offer $20,000 for 20 percent stake.
The sharks are amazed with Andrea’s confidence that they cannot believe she is just 13 years old. The Caos let the sharks use the product. They are told to just grip the handle well, put the tip on the sore area and just pull and release. The sharks think the product is effective.
The Caos sold 800 pieces from selling door-to-door and word of mouth. The cost to make is just $4.50, but products are sold from $25-$36. “A capitalist is born!” Mark laughs. They are currently working on the website and the patent. They assure that Qflex is the only product with solid, specially formulated plastic and a right amount of flex combined with the right angle.
Kevin is worried since Andrea goes to school and Hong is a fulltime nurse. Hong is ready to quit her job to focus on the product.
Robert cannot call them every day on how to sell it so he is out. Kevin thinks it is just a hobby and calls himself out as well. Lori has not recovered yet from a similar product that became a loss for her company, so she will not invest on the Caos. However, Mark and Barbara still like the product that they offer $25,000 for 25 percent and willing to run all the operations. The only contingency is the Caos must be always available for a sales call. It is a deal.
Last is Trina Barkouras who plans to make a family tradition as a business. Her product is called Hoppy Paws. She offers $50,000 for 10 percent stake. The product is a stamping kit to delight kids of a mythical creature’s visit like Santa and his reindeer. The stamps come in shapes of footprints, paw prints, etc.
Kevin thinks her product is too seasonal, but Trina introduces the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and many more. He becomes concerned with Barbara’s money because he is sure she will make a deal with Trina. She admits she has no sales yet. She started 90 days ago. The idea started 20 years ago when her neighbors were asking where she bought her stamping kit after finding the prints on the front yard. The sharks cannot believe what she was saying.
Trina says each kit costs $2 to make. She will use the $50,000 to make 50,000 units. The retail cost is $7.99. She tried to negotiate with Michael’s, Walgreens and Walmart; but she has no answer yet because the products just arrived the other day. The sharks are horrified. Mark starts to call her “The Beast.”
Four of the sharks are out because they are not sure if kids will like it, it is similar to an existing product and she still has a long way to go. Barbara, however, can relate completely because she was doing the exact same thing long ago with water and powder. She offers $100,000 for 50 percent and promises to work as hard as Trina. Trina’s counteroffer is 49 and 51 percent shares. Barbara’s contingencies are Trina must have more ideas, and Barbara must be allowed to make suggestions as well. The deal is closed.
Barbara asks why Kevin was so sure she would invest in the product. Kevin says she is crazy. “It’s a Christmas miracle!” he exclaims while standing up and throwing some dust from the kit.
There you have it for the recap on “Shark Tank” Season 6 Episode 12, which aired last Dec. 12, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. on ABC. Catch the next episode on Dec. 19, 2014. For more updates about this show, including spoilers and recaps, follow Movie News Guide (MNG).
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