Kickstarter is increasingly being used as a platform to launch new products, but one US toy creator using the system believes it isn’t a good means to launch toys. Yet.
Dale Taylor has created Forge of Honor: Targimals and Border Blades & Shields set. The Targimals are tiny warriors with plush swords and shield, and also act as pillows.
“We felt a good toy and a good video would be easier to pitch to consumers than to angel investors but I wouldn't say Kickstarter is a good platform for kids toys, at least not yet,” Taylor said.
“The sky's the limit funding is certainly appealing. But I do not recommend using Kickstarter for toys in the summer months when the days are long and the parents are tired.”
It’s these tired parents who have proven to be Taylor’s biggest challenge, as some remain unaware of what crowd funding actually is.
Taylor added: “Our biggest challenge is the blank stares from parents and a wait-and-see attitude you'd expect from retailers, not consumers. Much of the populace is trained to sit back and consume pre-packaged goods. They are not prepared to be active participants in the future marketplace. Only the devoted communities of crowd funding have realised they can be proponents of change on in our consumer culture. You want jobs in your community? How about supporting local Kickstarters so they can grow and create jobs? The passivity is amazing to us.
“Parents seem enthused about the toys and tell us they can’t wait to buy them. When we tell them they need to pre-order to make sure the toys get made, parents seem surprised and on the verge of understanding – but they don’t seem to connect the dots. Crowd funding is still a very strange concept for a large portion of the public.”
Taylor has found the gaming community to be a bigger help, instead relying on them to help push his project along.
“The gamer community certainly isn’t escapists or bystanders. They are ready to change the world with their mouse clicks,” said Taylor.
“Some enthusiastic gamers found our project early, and began telling us about techniques game-based Kickstarter projects are using to build momentum. I can only imagine where we'd be without the gaming community. I'd be curled up in a ball on the floor.”