About this project
We did it! Thank you Wonder Crew backers!!!!
*****You can purchase Crewmates and Adventure Packs at wondercrew.com beginning April 6, 2015! Sign-up on our contact page and we’ll keep you updated on all things Wonder Crew!*****
****Announcing New Adventure Pack Add-On****
We've received many requests for more than one adventure and we've made it happen!! We created a couple of tiers with the additional Adventure Pack included, but if you'd like to add it to a tier that doesn't have it, add $25 to your pledge X the amount of Adventure Packs that you'd like. For those who have already backed the project, you can "manage"/adjust your pledge to include additional Adventure Packs. The Adventure pack means you get 2 out of our 3 adventures: Builder, Rockstar, Superhero!
People are talking about Wonder Crew...
*** A big thank you to our backers so far, and a special thanks to Goldieblox, Roominate, IAmElemental and Lammily -- your toys are an inspiration and we are grateful for your support. ***
Boys have feelings. It's time for their toys to catch up.
As a psychotherapist, I've witnessed many boys and men struggle to achieve impossible ideals of masculinity. Culturally, boys are raised to be tough and self-reliant but when internalized, I've seen this lead to isolation, depression and sometimes aggression.
Even though I was aware of these harsh social expectations, I was floored when my own son came home from preschool one day and announced that “boys aren’t supposed to cry."
Research shows that relationships and the ability to connect emotionally are key to happiness, health and even career success. Studies also show that toys have the power to influence the way kids see themselves and the world around them. But right now toys that encourage connection and empathy are only marketed to girls -- sending the message to many boys that this kind of play is not for them.
Wonder Crew brings boys a new play experience.
After interviewing 150 parents, kids, educators, psychologists and toy industry experts, I came up with - action/adventure meets friendship and team-work. Wonder Crew is a line of Crewmates (aka dolls) that come friendship and adventure ready.
Inspired by boys, but truly meant for any child.
Wonder Crew builds emotional intelligence, imagination, confidence and is 100% fun! Crewmates are for the kind, cool and creative child - that's what it takes to live our motto: "Go anywhere. Be anything."
Right now Wonder Crew has ONE Crewmate (aka doll). His name is Will and he comes in three different adventures.
Why the name Will?
The name Will means determination and resolve. Will implies strength which is needed to “Go anywhere. Be anything." Will is also a nod to William from “Free To Be You and Me” – a story about a brave boy who wanted a doll. And let’s be real, it takes great will to break the mold, which is what Wonder Crew is doing.
Inspired by the way play impacts child-development and the recent surge of STEM toys for girls, I created Wonder Crew to give boys the mainstream green-light to connect, express feelings and really just be themselves.
Wonder Crew: what we are!
Wonder Crew is adventure through friendship! Our Crewmates combine the adventure of an action figure with the emotional connection of a favorite stuffed animal.
Our formula is: Child + Crewmate = Wonder Crew.
Help Launch Wonder Crew
First a quick note to those who aren't familiar with Kickstarter or crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter: crowdfunding is when you pool contributions from a group of people to support a project in exchange for various rewards. Kickstarter is the most widely used crowdfunding website. On Kickstarter, if the funding goal isn’t reached within a certain timeframe, no one is charged a cent, and no rewards are distributed.
We're asking you the Kickstarter community, to help fund and participate in the launch of Wonder Crew.
In appreciation of your support, we're offering some awesome rewards -- including base tiers for Crewmates only and deluxe tiers for Crewmates and more!
This campaign is to kickstart ONE adventure (Builder, Rockstar or Superhero) into production and launch Wonder Crew, but look out for add-ons if we raise the funds needed! That's right, if we reach our goal, we'll be offering another adventure!
- When you choose to get or donate a Crewmate, after the Kickstarter ends, you'll get to vote on the first adventure that's sent into production. Which one will it be? Superhero, Rockstar or Builder?
- Donate a Crewmate to interested hospitals, non-profits and schools. We have a list of places to choose from, including places where your donation will be tax deductible. If you have another place in mind, let us know during the backer survey after our campaign closes.
Each Crewmate comes with a matching piece of child-sized adventure gear (accessories for the child to wear) + a mini comic book.
When kids put on their matching adventure gear, it brings them deeper into imaginative play and of course, adds to the crew-like vibe.
At Wonder Crew kids are encouraged to become the leaders, teachers, problem-solvers, caretakers and dreamers of their own adventures.
Adventure packs are an awesome way to to bring in a new adventure! Each comes with a Crewmate outfit and matching Crewmate and child adventure gear!
Wonder Crew Development
After the initial inspiration to create Wonder Crew, I set out to make the vision a reality. 3 artists and 108 drafts later, our first Crewmate Will, was born.
Will had to embody a mix of adventure, kindness and fun. So many decisions were made about lips and mouth expression (the aim was sweet and playful, yet versatile and NOT blank – a personal pet peeve when it comes to dolls), hair was actually one of the biggest challenges --it’s not easy to construct hair knowing that it’ll be painted plastic! Everything was experimented with and tweaked countless times. And after showing the above image of Will to dozens of parents and kids – I knew it was time to make the prototype leap.
I contracted a toy design house. The first step was creating molds – strange looking, but promising.
Eyes - had to be bright, sweet and curious.
Lips – total frustration! Most dolls are heavy on the lipstick look - major challenge to get a natural lip color.
Then came the body - soft and round like a teddy bear, but realistic enough to be a peer.
These were just some of the highlights. The whole process from idea to prototypes took about a year.
We've upgraded the body to a super soft, yet durable thermal fabric!
I've invested a huge portion of my own savings into Wonder Crew, I believe in it. Help us bring more connection and kindness into the world by funding Wonder Crew's first production.
We have sourced a reliable manufacturer overseas with ICTI certification (factory meets the highest standards of safety and humane conditions). We'll be using all of the money raised on Kickstarter to purchase our molds, safety test, complete our first production run and fulfill all Kickstarter orders.
Similar to the way STEM toys have begun to expand the way girls play and envision their potential, Wonder Crew will spark a new conversation about boys' potential. I believe it's important to create a world that allows children to be their full selves - one where emotional connection and expression is seen as a strength. As someone in the field of psychology, I can tell you that if we support ALL kids in building the skills and capacity they need for strong relationships, we'd see a decline in rates of depression and aggression, we'd see a much happier and healthier world.
Watch Wonder Crew's TV Interview
It's time to address the developmental needs of the whole boy, help us make Wonder Crew a reality!
It is our hope to ultimately create Crewmates that reflect all kids (race, gender). We will also be expanding our adventures -- after all, our motto is "Go anywhere. Be anything." -- we've got lots of ground to cover! While Wonder Crew was inspired by boys, we plan to be an interest based brand, not gender based.
Risks and challenges
We are working with a reliable and experienced design house and manufacturer.
We are aware that there may be production challenges with any manufacturing project -- delays, equipment issues, shipping, etc. With this in mind, we have built relationships with more than one factory. It is our goal to get fully funded by March 20th, otherwise delivery may be delayed until Fall 2015.
This project is fueled by so much passion and enthusiasm, with the help of the Kickstarter community, we can help kids see and experience their full potential. Join us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Crewmates are 15- inch dolls that come friendship and adventure ready.
Think, action figure (but bigger and more relatable) meets the teddy bear that cannot be left behind.
The plan is to extend our line to embrace diversity. From race to gender, we want Crewmates to ultimately represent all.
For Wonder Crew’s start, we decided to go with adventures that were already popular in boy culture. Our goal is to show that emotional connection can be integrated into all types of play, including the kind that is stereotypically masculine.
Absolutely! Our motto is “Go anywhere. Be anything.” and we'll be working to make that a reality. From Chefs to Space Cadets, Wonder Crew intends to tap into anything your child dreams up.
Right now we have over 100 requests from hospitals, non-profits and preschools including: Inova Children's Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Children's Medical Center of Dallas, Treehouse Foundation: Project Thrive, Sunnyside Child Care and Northampton Parents Center.
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