Robert Hutchins talks to Tom Mandeville, founder and CEO of the recently funded MyFamilyBuilders, a wooden toy project that aims to truly reflect the diversity of different families across the globe.
Why did you guys choose to use Kickstarter?
Kickstarter allowed us to try to get the necessary funding, but it also helped us create a community with the people that decided to back our project.
The relationship we generate with the backers is very different than the relationship a company develops with their consumers. We listen to their recommendations and comments.
Kickstarter also allows us to test the concept behind the toy, the communicational tone and the price point. The campaign for us is not only a way to get funded, it’s also an ongoing research; that’s why we changed the title of the campaign and the images of it several times to try to learn from it.
How have you found the crowdfunding experience?
The experience is amazing.
A great aspect of the experience is the relationship that you establish with the backers and other Kickstarter project owners. When we begun the campaign, we were a team of six professionals. Now it feels like we are a team of 347 people. Sure, not all of the 347 members actively participate all the time, but all of them are helping one way or another, and at the end of the day, we know we are now a bigger team.
How can UK distributors get on board?
We would love to get in touch with all the UK’s educational toy distribution companies that would like to carry the MyFamilyBuilders toy set.
Why should the UK market be excited by MyFamilyBuilders?
We are the only toy makers around the globe developing a fun, educational toy to help children, parents and schools embrace family diversity through play.
We are letting new generations learn through play that families come in all shapes, colours and sizes and that it all counts and that it’s good and desirable. It is important we remove the existing biases for the next generations to come.
MyFamilyBuilders fits in perfectly into todays UK’s multicultural reality, especially in schools.
What’s next for you?
We will begin manufacturing this month. For the future, we are already planning a second edition with some brand new characters.
We plan to be present in the next NYC Toy Fair to get into the US market and are also looking for distribution in the EU.