Industry News:

LandRoller Keeps on Rollin' ... But Will the Public Give It a Try?

Company Secures $1.25 Million to Push Slant-Wheel Skate

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

The business of LandRoller skate photobuilding a better mouse trap is a tough one.

Not only do you have to come up with a better design, but you've got to persuade the public to give it a try.

That's the situation LandRoller finds itself in at the end of its first year in the skate market.

The Hermosa Beach, Calif., company claims that its innovative slant-wheel skate is the best thing to roll through the inline world since Scott Olson (the founder of Rollerblade).

And the company is having remarkable success getting its story out. (Its latest coup came last week when Time magazine picked the LandRoller as one of the Best Inventions of 2005.)

But so far, the skating public doesn't appear to be biting, at least not in significant numbers. Although some skaters say they would like to try the LandRoller, few have — judging by the skate's absence on trails, rinks and at skate events.

However, LandRoller isn't ready to quit.

The company announced last week that it has secured more than $1.25 million from investors to continue to develop and market its skate.

The money will be used to "finalize product development" of the Terra 9 skate model and to "get us to market," said Chief Operating Officer Lance Stuart.

The company is looking for additional funds to help finance development of new models, including a children's skate, an all-terrain version and a lower-priced skate. (The current LandRoller sells for $249 U.S.)

More money can't hurt. But the key to the company's success remains the same: Persuading the world that it has invented "a better mouse trap."

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(Posted on Nov. 23, 2005)

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Go to LandRoller site

• Time conclusion about LandRollers: "Experienced skaters may find the LandRollers a little clunky and heavier than other popular skates, but for beginners longing to roll with the rest of the crowd, these two-wheelers do an admirable job of reducing the fear factor."

Go to Time's LandRoller story


Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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