Customisable figures campaign launches to counter ‘prescriptive toys of today’

Tired of toys labelled as ‘too prescriptive,’ one man has made it his mission to "give ownership back to people that play," with a new customisable line of vinyl figures called Marmals.

The Portland-based industrial designer, Jeff Lawber has taken to Kickstarter to fund a range of vinyl figurines that "are designed to be a tactile launchpad for creative play and storytelling."

Marmals can be customised by their owners with a variety of paints, marker pens or other materials that their creators choose to adorn them with, with themed kits available allowing their users to add in new parts, costumes and accessories.

Each Marmal is held together with a patent-pending array of magnets that allow for a range of different poses for each character. The product is ready for mass production, with a line launching through Kickstarter.

"Marmals are designed for folks aged 13 and up, and we have plans to create and develop more customisation options for the figurines as the product line grows," said Lawber. 

"The hope is to create an entire ecosystem full of different storytelling and imaginative opportunities."

The concept was arrived at when Lawber "grew tired of toys that are too prescriptive." He wanted to create a line that people could "take ownership of and feel like they’re building and creating a story themselves." 

Inspired by the toys he loved as a child, and the types of products his children enjoy, he took his decade of experience in product design to develop the figurines. 

The future of the product now revolves around a dedicated and creative online community.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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