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Inflatables, pools, sprinklers, and giant swans: An interview with Marvin Natareno of INTEX

INTEX is an award-winning company that specializes in designing and producing high-quality products—largely toys and games—for indoor and outdoor use for more than forty years. Their most popular items are imaginatively designed blow-up pools and inflatable floats that are intended for use in pools, lakes, and rivers. INTEX products enjoys sales across the globe and their unique and cheerful designs have made them well-known and respected in the toy industry. In addition, the company is now focusing on decreasing their carbon footprint and for more than a decade they have worked with suppliers to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used in their wares. Recently Marvin Natareno of INTEX discussed the company, its products, and its hopes for the future:

Meagan Meehan (MM) of Entertainment Vine: When was Intex started and why was that specific name chosen?

Intex Watermelon Island Marvin Natareno (MN): The company started over 40 years ago, with 134 locations the name INTEX comes from “INTernational EXchange”.

MM: Right now, how many toys does Intex offer? What are your age ranges?

MN: Currently Intex counts over 400 SKU’s of toys and accessories in various categories. Age ranges from toddlers to adults.

MM: How do you think up ideas for your products? For example, do you ever work with inventors?

MN: We look at trends and conduct market researches, then it is a collaborative effort with our teams of engineers and designers. We do work with inventors from time to time as well.

MM: What are some of your most unusual products? Which are most popular?

MN: Our novelties are currently our most different products, particularly our “Inflatabull.” While our giant Toucan or giant Pegasus showcase an exotic side of Intex, the Inflatabull is a fun, floating on the water, bull-riding experience that has never been seen before. In fact, our bull has been selling out at most of our retailers!

MM: You recently came up with a Toucan and a Pegasus pool floats. How did you think up these cool concepts?

MN: As I mentioned before, Intex has a devoted team of in-house designers and engineers who work around the clock to come up with great unique and safe concepts. Our motto is “Fun is the Air” and we are determined to exceed expectations.

MM: Some of your inflatable pools/activity centers are very involved! What’s your grandest model to date?

Dinosaur Play CenterMN: Our Inflatable Spa with Pool is definitely up there; we were able to combine our PureSpa with a lounge Pool.

MM: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of working with Intex?

MN: We help families, friends, and communities create great memories. We receive emails and letters from athletes or people with disabilities thanking us for making great affordable spas that help them feel better, that is definitely the most rewarding part of the job.

MM: Where do you hope the company will be in ten years?

MN: Staying #1 in pool floats and AGP’s (above ground pools).

MM: What advice would you give to someone who is striving to enter the toy/games industry?

MN: Intern or volunteer. I was able to enter the industry working in consumer products for Warner Bros.

MM: Are there any upcoming events that you would like to mention?

MN: We are attending the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City in July, so if you are there, we encourage everybody to stop by and see us!

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To learn more about Intex, visit their official website.

Meagan Meehan

Meagan J. Meehan is a published author, poet, cartoonist and produced playwright. She pens columns for the Great South Bay Magazine, Examiner and AXS. She is also a stop motion animator and an award-winning abstract artist. Meagan holds a Bachelors in English Literature and a Masters of Communication. She is an animal advocate and a fledging toy and game designer.
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