‘Shark Tank’ review: Coolbox, PrideBites, Trobo, and NoPhone

Shark Tank -We are a little bit later than usual on this particular “Shark Tank” review, but better late than never, right? We are back once more to chronicle some products from Friday night’s episode, and what we thought was a pretty fun episode. Even the one product to not get a deal (at least on the show; more on that later) ended up providing us some entertainment, and given that this is a television show first and foremost, we do appreciate that.

Now, let’s just go ahead and get to some of the products before we spend TOO much time on the intro!

PrideBites – We kick off this week’s episode with what is fundamentally one of the more creative pet products we’ve ever seen: Customized accessories that help to showcase your dog’s personalities. It’s a little bit like L.L. Bean meets Shutterfly means another “Shark Tank” product in Budsies (which, by the way, remains one of our favorites to date). There was a little bit of competition for a deal here, and with Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec, these two guys have someone who could bite into this concept and then help to make it something that plays both online and in retail. It really has potential to do well given the amount of people out there willing to shell out money for their pet.

Trobo – When we first read up on the idea, we really liked it as a learning tool. In practice, we do understand where some of the Sharks’ problems lie. For $59 plus a monthly subscription, this is not the most affordable way to educate your preschool kid out there. Also, the presentation with the story wasn’t that cool. Yet, we recognize the potential here and clearly we are not the only one. That is why we probably saw in the end Robert jump on this, even if it was more or less as a licensing play to get the folks at DreamWorks a little more on board. We’re curious to get an update to see if anything happened.

NoPhone – Yes, the idea is complete nonsense: It’s a block of plastic. However, remember that Cards Against Humanity last year literally made tons of money selling absolutely nothing, just for the sake of doing so on Black Friday. We think that there was untapped potential here had they marketed this even more as something silly, funny, and something that in the right retailers could make some money. We would have pushed for that harder than just mentioning the Pet Rock analogy a few times over.

With that said, it’s not going to be a $10 million business. It could make a nice little bit of money, but then you gotta move on to the next thing. No deal.

Coolbox – This was a complicated negotiation that had to Lori striking a deal, but we understand why given all of the issues. The patent was not a particularly strong one, the toolbox is expensive, and there are a lot of orders that need to be met. We do think that this is a really cool concept, but how many blue-collar guys would want to spend this versus just using an iPhone speaker and sticking it in a safe space? (Interesting update: Lori posted on Twitter after the show that the deal “didn’t work” outside of the Tank; sometimes that happens for a variety of reasons. We wish more of the Sharks would give you a heads-up.)

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