Children’s drawings all over the world are being turned in to huggable plush characters, thanks to the efforts of one US family firm, Budsies.
Designed to be the antidote to lost childhood drawings, Budsies encourages young artists to send in their favourite sketches from school, camp or birthdays.
The toy manufacturer will then transform them in to cuddly toys and deliver them straight to their creator’s door.
The initiative – launched only last autumn – has rocketed to fame in recent weeks and the firm has now created over 1,500 custom Budsies, ranging from ‘Donglers’ to comical caterpillars wearing top hats.
Following its early success, the company now has designs on global expansion with a view to becoming a world leader in the field.
Not bad for a small firm that was originally inspired by the family fridge.
“Budsies was inspired by my little sister Michelle. She would bring home artwork from school which would start on the fridge, then go on the wall, and eventually get lost in a pile,” Alex Furmansky, founder of Budsies, told ToyNews.
“Budsies provided a way to combine her artistic creativity with the cuddly love of her favourite plush toys.
“And I had no idea it would explode like it has.”
Soon after launch, Budsies was picked up by the US mummy blogger community, where it gained an ‘overwhelming momentum.’
Budsies has invested in multiple production lines and new technology, allowing it to produce thousands of Budsies within four to five week turnarounds, all in time for the upcoming holiday season.
But despite the global aspirations of the firm, Budsies insists it hasn’t forgotten the people closet to the initiative, and is reminded of its core audience through its connections with various children’s charities.
“There’s something so special about the bond between a child and their Budsie,” continued Furmansky.
“I think it’s the fact that there is quite literally only one such toy in the entire world, and it was designed by the child themselves.
“One aspect we totally didn’t expect was the depth of our impact on individual families. We’ve made Budsies for families who have lost children or for children who suffer from illnesses and now view the Budsie as a source of strength.
“These are families I now know on a first name basis and I feel like we are a part of their lives.”
Today, the company sees itself at the “intersection of old-school plush stuffed animals and new-school on demand mass customization technology,” and is very eager to collaborate with craft and toy companies looking to add new product lines or increase revenue.
“For example, we have already partnered with a scrapbooking app, Keepy, and we’re about to announce a major partnership with the largest drawing app, whereby users can transfer their artwork out of the app right into Budsies via our API,” said Furmansky.
“I can’t wait to bring the magic of Budsies to millions of families around the world,” he concluded.
Check out the Budsie website at www.budsies.com