Build Your Own Action Figure

Build Your Own Action Figure – We are currently in the golden age of toy making and collecting. Digital sculpting and rapid prototyping technologies are available in affordable home versions, but the Internet gives promising toy manufacturers global connections and enables licensees to reach overseas. Toy manufacturing factory. Add in the proliferation of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon, and you suddenly have the venture capital equivalent of fan-backed products that were considered unmanufacturable just a few years ago.

If you have a love for toys, a will to win and an entrepreneurial spirit, all of this will lead to fans being able to create their own figurines. New small, independent toy companies are popping up every month, and now we’ve seen two waves of these companies succeed and encourage new promising toy manufacturers to enter the market.

Build Your Own Action Figure

Build Your Own Action Figure

Toy makers went through significant changes in the 70s and 80s. Many of the forefathers of toys were engineers and designers who stumbled into toy design and manufacturing thinking they should design automobiles or industrial products. But today’s toy companies have grown up with the amazing toys of the 70s, 80s and 90s, and now they can’t wait to see improved versions of their favorite toys or see iconic movies, TV shows, comic books, etc. Video games.

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No longer are large and medium-sized toy companies the gateways to what products are made. Thanks to these new tools, toy fans are creating independent toy companies and creating some very impressive products. These aren’t small-time “art toy” makers who either cast at home or make small numbers of figurines in their garage. These are actual factory-made figures with both licensed property and original intellectual property (IP).

In this feature, we chat with the latest fandom to successfully launch new action figures, how to turn an idea into fully realized plastic, the biggest pitfalls and pitfalls, and if passion is enough. For success.

Toy companies that started as fans who wanted to make toys already have ‘first class alumni’. Companies like The Four Horseman Design Studio, Onell Design, Spy Monkey Creations, and Boss Fight Studio are great examples of early pioneers who proved it’s possible and fans will be opening their wallets. These toy makers have inspired the next generation, supporting and guiding the maker community to create amazing products.

For some of these promising toy makers, the moment they realized they could make their own toys came at a very young age. “I was probably 5 or 6 years old when I made my Mega Man figure using fire clay,” says Jesse Testasio of Toy Pizza and Knights of the Slice. ” Sangam. Although that opportunity came 30 years later and he could do the job professionally, he says, “It was like a gateway to bring to life the characters I wanted to see in puppetry.”

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David Silva, founder of Creative Beast Studio and the Beasts of the Mesozoic action figure line, looked to those who came before him. “I think the first indication that this was possible was in 2013 when we saw the success of the Four Horsemen’s Codytropolis Raven Kickstarter,” he says. “After that, I noticed that every year action figures were crowd-funded by smaller companies, and a few years later, the legendary legions of horsemen crowd-funded again. In 2015, I experienced another failed attempt to bring dinosaur action figures to market with an established toy company. So to be successful, you have to keep going. I decided that. My own.”

Ryan Magnon of Panda Moni Brand Toys, who recently launched the successful 6-inch Alter Nation figure line, has always had an insatiable passion for starting a business and working with talented people to come up with new ideas for characters and stories. He said he could come up with dozens of story ideas a day, but he needed a way to get them out into the world.

“Toys was a risky business because it required high upfront costs, but it was much less saturated than content-creating media like comics, games and animation,” Magnon says of his journey into the toy world. “We further de-risked by testing the concept to see what appealed to kids. That way, even if we invested a lot of money in the project, at least it wouldn’t be a total success in the dark or a personal passion project. We wanted it to resonate with kids. “I had no illusions that it was going to be easy. , I had no production experience, but I expected bolder moves than playing it safe.”

Build Your Own Action Figure

Inexperience is often a barrier that prevents most people from embarking on an entrepreneurial venture. But these plastics pioneers stood behind the giants and looked far ahead as they turned to those who came before them for advice on how to get started.

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“Before launching our first Kickstarter campaign, I spoke with Jim Preziosi (Four Horsemen), Fred Axon and Dave Proctor (Bass Fight Studio). They all provided helpful insight into the process along with advice based on their personal experiences with Kickstarter.” Beasts of the Mesozoic : Silva says about launching the Raptor and Ceratopsian crowdfunding campaign.

Bill Murphy of Fresh Monkey Fiction, creator of the Amazing Heroes and Eagle Force figure lines, said he contacted several successful toymakers before entering the field. “Finding a reliable factory has been bothering me for four years,” he says. “Thank you to the other indie toymakers who helped me move into my new factory. Know your market, research it, and build your fan base. This is great advice and I still use it as a benchmark for all my projects.

Toy Pizza’s Testasio refers to one of the grandfathers of the independent toy movement and the creator of the Klios system: “The entire Knights of the Slice line owes its life to Matt Doughty and Onell Design. I couldn’t do this today without standing on the shoulders of what he accomplished.”

The biggest barrier to getting started is often finances. “Making a figure in China requires a minimum investment of $10,000-20,000, and that doesn’t include the cost of the time invested,” DeStasio recalls. “Now, I’m grateful to have a thriving and passionate fan base on Patreon. With them, we can self-fund most of our work.

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For others, the biggest hurdle is overseas manufacturing, a problem that affects toy companies of all sizes. “Every step is full of challenges, from crowdfunding to production to fulfillment,” says Silva, who literally and figuratively made the dinosaur walk. “But as a small, independent toy manufacturer, my biggest challenge is distribution. Many people don’t realize that the money from these crowdfunding events really only covers the cost of making the figures. We can’t truly estimate potential profits until all compensation is exhausted and the remaining inventory is sold to the public. We go and build retail partnerships from the ground up. After Kickstarter, it’s a slow process and a lot of work. I’ve been lucky enough to stock my products in many great online and specialty stores, but I’m always looking for new ways to reach customers through retail stores.

Despite the hurdles, frustrations, sleepless nights and early mornings, undertaking these projects will yield priceless rewards – from seeing the first painted models in the factory to releasing your original IP to the world. The real reward, then, is that through the power of social media, fans see evidence and photos of themselves enjoying their labor of love.

We asked each of the contributing toy makers what advice they would give to someone interested in starting their new toy line. Although the answers have nothing in common, you will notice that each node is colored according to its color. Personal experience of the process.

Build Your Own Action Figure

“Focus on handmade/resin projects in the US for a few years before starting production in China. Everyone wants to run before they can walk,” says Testacio of Toy Pizza.

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