Bloomberg Businessweek

Does the Mensch Have Staying Power?

A toy entrepreneur’s quest to turn a novelty toy into a holiday tradition | “I went out there and told the story as many times as I could”

Neal Hoffman thought he’d hit the jackpot in December 2014 when he appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank and persuaded two of the show’s celebrity investors to buy $75,000 stakes in the Mensch on a Bench, a Jewish riff on the popular Christmas franchise Elf on the Shelf.

Tens of thousands of entrepreneurs vie to get their ideas on the hit show every year, hoping the exposure will supercharge their businesses. That’s exactly what it did for Hoffman as sales of his bearded Hanukkah dolls surged ninefold,

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