Ok, bad pun.
At any rate, I had the opportunity and honor of getting to meet up with 'Big Bee', himself, as well as Buzz Bee Toys' Director of Product Development. Over the course of the 2+ hour meeting, we got to talk about many things and was impressed by the overall sincerity of both these guys and their thoughts and rationale.
In the end, they still represent a company which they also admitted to and thus admitted to certain restrictions as such. That said, I found them both very open and receptive to hearing about new ideas and potential directions on where to take the Water Warriors line. They admit some things are just not possible to do due to restrictions from costs, marketability, safety concerns, liability issues, etc. At the same time, they were very realistic and actually wanting to be able to do more had the various restrictions not been there.
While representing a company, they never really ever struck me as being really 'corporate' and just be concerned solely about bottom lines. These guys really do love their water weaponry and just know that was really refreshing. After this meeting, I'm changing my statement of a luke-warm relationship with manufacturers to at least a warm relationship at least with Buzz Bee Toys thusfar. Optimally, I'd also like to develop something similar with Hasbro, but Hasbro is a rather different creature than Buzz Bee Toys in that it is just THAT much bigger. Thus, it may take a little longer to build things with them, but I'll continue to keep an open mind.
That said, I'd like to definitely say that we have one company that is doing what it can, listening to ideas here, and trying to push out better products as the years go by. As they are a new company, it may take a couple more years for them to get things right, but if they keep their mindset, I foresee great things from Buzz Bee Toys.